PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Health officials are urging residents to stay safe this Halloween season.

Clark County Public Health officials say the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19 remains high despite the decreasing case rate. Last week, Clark County reported 450.9 cases per 100,000 residents over 14 days, which health experts warn “is comparable to peak rates during the winter months.”

“We want people to be able to enjoy Halloween. But with virus activity still high, it’s important to take precautions to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy,” Clark County Public Health Director Dr. Alan Melnick says. “You can still have fun while celebrating safely.”

Health officials explain that although outdoor activities are low-risk, areas such as crowded pumpkin patches and indoor parties are still a high-risk for virus spread. However, health experts explain that everyone can take steps to reduce risk of COVID transmission.

Clark County health officials offer the following steps to keep you and your family safe:

Pumpkin Patches

  • Wear a face covering. Face coverings are required to be worn at large outdoor events with 500 people or more and strongly recommended at any crowded outdoor setting where – physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Keep your distance. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from people in different households.
  • Use hand sanitizer after touching shared surfaces, such as handrails and wheelbarrows. And wash hands with soap and water upon returning home.
  • If you’re feeling sick, stay home.

Halloween Parties

  • Gather outdoors, which is often safer than gathering indoors.
    If gathering indoors, open doors and windows to increase the amount of fresh air in the room.
  • Wear a mask if gathering indoors or when outdoors and unable to stay 6 feet from others.
  • Gather with other people who are vaccinated. Gatherings are safer if everyone who is able is vaccinated.
  • Keep the gathering small.
  • Don’t host or attend a gathering if you’re feeling sick.


For trick-or-treaters:

  • Avoid traveling in big groups. Instead, stick with members of the same household.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from other groups of trick-or-treaters.
  • Incorporate snug cloth face coverings into costumes.
  • Wash hands before and after trick-or-treating. Bring hand sanitizer to use while trick-or-treating.
  • If you’re feeling sick, stay home.
  • People who plan to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters can also take steps to make the visits safer:

For those who give out candy to Trick-or-Treaters:

  • Create grab bags of treats, rather than having kids dig through a communal bowl of treats.
  • Set treats on a table outside and greet visitors from a lawn chair at least 6 feet away. Or try a creative approach, like sliding candy down a long tube.
  • Use little pumpkins or other markers on the ground to help visitors stay at least 6 feet apart.