Health officials said they were banning the annual activity because it would be "very difficult to maintain proper social distancing."

By Joelle Goldstein /
September 09, 2020
Credit: AleksandarNakic/Getty

Halloween in Los Angeles County will look different this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a news release on Saturday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced that they were banning door-to-door trick-or-treating as a way to minimize the risk of coronavirus.

Health officials said the decision was due to the fact that it "can be very difficult to maintain proper social distancing on porches and at front doors, especially in neighborhoods that are popular with trick-or-treaters."

Along with the annual activity, officials also banned "trunk-or-treating" events where kids go from car to car to receive treats, gatherings and parties with people who do not live in your home, and other common Halloween happenings (such as carnivals, festivals, live entertainment, or haunted house attractions).

However, that doesn't mean people can't celebrate in safe ways.

According to the guidance, virtual parties, online costume contests, and drive-through parades and events where individuals remain in their cars and comply with social distancing are allowed this Halloween.

Residents are also encouraged to attend Halloween movie nights at drive-in theaters, Halloween-themed meals at outdoor restaurants, and Halloween-themed art installations at outdoor museums, as well as decorate their own homes and yards.

For those who choose to celebrate, officials urged that proper safety measures be taken, including wearing face masks, avoiding confined spaces, social distancing, washing hands, and isolating if you are sick or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19.

As of Monday afternoon, there have been at least 746,327 cases and 13,843 deaths attributed to coronavirus in California, according to The New York Times

Ahead of Labor Day weekend, Governor Gavin Newsom announced in a tweet that California's average caseload was down statewide, with a positivity rate of under five percent and hospital and ICU rates down by nearly 25 percent.

Despite the decrease in numbers, Newsom urged residents to take the virus seriously and continue practicing safety precautions as COVID-19 is still very much a threat and because "literal lives are at stake."

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti echoed his sentiments on Monday, writing in a tweet: "It might be a holiday weekend, but that doesn’t mean we can take a break from our COVID-19 safety measures. Please do your part and keep our city safe, and avoid gatherings and parties."

This story originally appeared on People.