October 22, 2021

Melissa Morin, Public Information Officer
Whatcom County Health Department
(360) 594-2504

Don’t Be Spooked by Trick-or-Treaters This Halloween

 Thanks to widespread vaccination, trick-or-treating is safer this year than it was in 2020. The Whatcom County Health Department, in keeping with DOH and CDC guidance, considers trick-or-treating a low-risk activity provided a few precautions are observed. 

Since COVID-19 is still in our community, trick-or-treaters and their chaperones should take the following steps to limit the possibility of infection:

  • Everyone 12 and older should get vaccinated for COVID-19 and the flu before trick-or-treating. Even just one dose provides some protection against COVID-19. 
  • Anyone, regardless of age, should stay home if they feel sick. 
  • Everyone older than 5 should wear a properly fitting face covering. A costume mask is not a substitute for a mask or face covering intended to prevent COVID-19 transmission. 
    • DO NOT wear a costume mask over a mask or face covering, or vice versa. Doing so may cause difficulty breathing. 
    • Children between 2-5 years old are encouraged to wear face coverings with adult supervision. Children younger than 2 years old should never wear masks or face coverings.  
  • Keep trick-or-treating groups small, and don’t mingle with other groups.
  • Don’t crowd doorsteps.
  • Keep all contact outdoors. Do not go inside anyone’s house to get candy.
  • Wash hands before eating candy.

Some precautions should also be observed by anyone handing out candy to trick-or-treaters:

  • Get vaccinated for COVID-19.
  • Wear a properly fitted mask or face covering. The same guidance about costume masks stated above applies. 
  • Keep all contact outdoors; discourage crowding at doorstep; do not invite trick-or-treaters inside. 
  • Wash hands before handing out candy. 

Unlike trick-or-treating, Halloween parties are only considered low-risk if everyone in attendance is fully vaccinated. The safest gathering is virtual, the second safest is vaccinated, and the third safest is outdoors. Indoor social gatherings with unvaccinated people from multiple households in attendance are the least safe. Those who choose to gather indoors with unvaccinated people from more than one household should wear masks, stay 6 feet apart and keep the windows open. For more information about safer gatherings this holiday season, visit DOH’s Gathering Safely Once Vaccinated page and the CDC’s Holiday Celebrations page.

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
Visitor Center Located at I-5 Exit 253 - Check Hours
904 Potter Street, Bellingham, WA 98229
Phone: 360-671-3990

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