Submitted by City of Bellingham, written by Janice Keller
With Halloween just around the corner, Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood joins local health officials encouraging everyone to celebrate safely to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes avoiding traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating – especially in typically popular Bellingham residential neighborhoods – and incorporating face masks and social distancing into Halloween activities.
Mayor Fleetwood said he is hearing from representatives of neighborhoods who say they are concerned and opposed to large groups gathering for trick-or-treating and concerned about the health risks of doorstep interactions.
Some Bellingham residential neighborhoods traditionally receive hundreds of trick-or-treaters, with carloads of families arriving from other areas of the City and beyond. In concert with Whatcom County Health Department recommendations, he said, we would like to discourage that tradition this year to help protect everyone’s health.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has required us to make many changes in how we celebrate holidays and special events and unfortunately Halloween is affected, too,” he said. “Partaking in many of our favorite Halloween traditions could increase our risk for getting or spreading COVID-19. We are asking our community to incorporate healthy habits into their Halloween fun this year.”
The Whatcom County Health Department has published tips for safe and spooky fun Halloween activities. Activities noted as “higher risk” include:
- Door-to-door trick-or-treating, especially in large groups;
- Crowded Halloween parties and events;
- Indoor haunted houses.
“The most responsible way we can celebrate this year is to choose safe, low-risk activities,” Mayor Fleetwood said. “Let’s look forward to future years when we can resume our traditional fun ways to celebrate Halloween and other special times.”