Pima County Health Department advises against trick-or-treating, some events going ahead as planned

Pima County Health Department's Halloween Recommendations

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - With Halloween just over a month away, the Pima County Health Department (PCHD) released its recommendations for those planning to participate in this year’s holiday.

Despite the restrictions, many are ready to get in the spirit.

“It has ‘Friday the 13th’, ‘Hellraiser’ and ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’,” said Alyssa as she showed off her nearly-finished arm tattoo.

Alyssa loves horror movies, so it makes sense Halloween is a special time of the year for her.

“I just want [my daughter] to be dressed up,” she said.

Tuesday night, her family was busy looking at costumes at Spirit Halloween near the Tucson Mall. Alyssa knows October 31st, 2020, won’t be what they’re used to.

One of the recommendations from the local health department is to skip trick-or-treating all together, as officials say it’s difficult to social distance and reaching into a shared candy bowl can be risky.

“This year, at least for us, we can go to [our baby’s] grandparents house, family and friends,” said Jeremy. “If she was bigger, I would say [not trick-or-treating] is a loss.”

In line with PCHD’s recommendations on events, the Tucson Slaughterhouse will restrict gatherings to fewer than 50 people and will maintain social distancing by having groups purchase tickets ahead of time.

The Slaughterhouse is attracting more buzz online than ever before.

“We were very sad for our friends at Old Tucson and Nightfall,” said Bobby Sutton, the CEO of Tucson Screamers and the Slaughterhouse. “As much as it is awful we can’t watch U of A football, they are a big competitor of ours. So, we are going to be the big thing to do on the weekends.”

Staff hope to steal screams, not health.

“We have hand sanitation pumps everywhere,” said Sutton. “We have a whole COVID staff that walks around the high-traffic areas, the high-touch areas, cleaning and sanitizing all night long. We are scanning temperatures for actors, for staff, for customers coming in.”

The Slaughterhouse is working with the elements this year, incorporating masks and gloves as part of its “apocalypse pandemic” theme.

“People want to get out and be part of their community again," said Sutton. “[They want] to be able to get scared of something they can walk away from in 30 minutes.”

PCHD is urging people to host smaller parties (if any) this year. Car parades, drive-by events and drive-in Halloween movies are suggested over trick-or-treating.

“As a mom of two kids who love trick-or-treating, I know how disappointing it will be for families to limit Halloween activities this year,” said Tucson Mayor Regina Romero. “I encourage everyone to follow the Pima County Health Department’s recommendations. Let’s focus on protecting our families.”

The Town of Oro Valley will be sharing the recommendations on its social media pages.

For more information on the Slaughterhouse, click HERE.

For a full list of events, click HERE.

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