Halloween Safety Tips Porterville College

Stay Safe Campaign

Happy Halloween

Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween. If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.

Lower Risk Activities:

These lower risk activities can be safe alternatives:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

Moderate Risk Activities

Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)

  • If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.

Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart

Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart

  • A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.
  • Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.

Moderate Risk Activities Continued:

Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart

  • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.

Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing

Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart

  • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
  • Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.

High Risk Activities:

Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19

Additional Safety Tips for the College Community

Halloween is one of the most popular holidays of the year among teens and adults, too! It’s important to pay attention to your surroundings and use your best judgment at any party, but take special precautions when people will be in costume and possibly consuming alcohol.

Remember these Halloween safety tips this October 31:

  • Choose your Halloween costume wisely. If you’re going to dress up, be sure to wear something that you can move in. Sky-high heels and too-tight clothing can restrict your movement. Masks and wigs can accidentally cover your eyes, impairing your vision.
  • Obey laws, rules, and regulations. Whether you are going out in public, staying on campus, or heading to a party in an apartment complex, follow the rules. You don’t want to get arrested, kicked out of school, or injured!
  • Watch your drink. If you’re going to drink, do so responsibly. Never accept a beverage beer, cocktail, or even water or soda from someone you don’t know. Never leave your drink unattended. If you step away for even a few seconds, get a new beverage. Someone with harmful intentions could slip something into your cup or bottle in the blink of an eye.

Additional Safety Tips for the College Community Continued:

  • Know your limits. You don’t have to be drunk to have a good time on Halloween. Binge drinking is dangerous and can lead to much bigger problems than throwing up on your costume and waking up with a hangover the next morning.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Never ever drink and drive. Never accept a ride from someone that has been drinking, even if they’ve “only had a couple beers” or say they’re “only buzzed, not drunk.” If you’re a designated driver, be extra careful on the roads. Other people who didn’t choose a DD may be breaking the law and driving while intoxicated, putting themselves as well as you and your friends in danger.
  • Decorate safely. Are you the party host? Make sure valuables and breakables are put away safely. Light your jack o’ lanterns with glow sticks instead of real candles, which are a fire hazard. Keep in mind COVID-19 guidelines.
  • Use the buddy system. Don’t go to a Halloween party without a good friend. Make a pact to arrive and leave together, and keep tabs on each other all evening. If you must walk home after dark, walk with at least one other person and stay on a well-lit path. Calling for a ride or hailing a cab might be a safer option.
  • Know the people you’re with. It can be tempting to tag along with friends of friends to someone’s Halloween party or even a bar or club, but being around people you don’t know very well could put you in danger.
  • Be kind but cautious. College can be an incredibly social place, but be on your toes when meeting new people who are wearing costumes, especially outfits that hide their faces or change their voices. That person might have ill intentions.
  • Keep your phone on. Be sure your phone is fully charged before you go out for the night and make sure the volume is turned on in case a friend is trying to reach you. Don’t let your phone out of your sight—it could save you in case of emergency.
  • Carry emergency cash. Keep cash tucked inside your pocket or costume. It could wind up being cab fare or other emergency money.
  • Trust your instincts. On Halloween or any other night, if something “just doesn’t feel right” trust your gut instinct. Leave the party, don’t accept the drink, or just say no to whatever it is that’s making you uncomfortable. Your safety is more important than a party or possibly upsetting a friend.
Stay Safe Campaign

PC's Safety & Security

The safety and security of our campus community is a top priority for Porterville College. While we support students who step outside of their comfort zone, we also encourage healthy decision-making. If you have any questions about this presentation, feel free to call Campus Safety & Security at 559-791-2440.

Feel free to check out PC's Safety & Security weekly safety trainings to learn more about crime prevention and general campus safety.

Please keep safety in mind as you celebrate the winter holidays. This includes any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which holiday gatherings must comply during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Created By
Todd Dearmore


Created with images by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden - "Halloween pumpkin " • Dan Gold - "🎃" • Laercio Cavalcanti - "Pintura de rosto em festa infantil." • Stefano Pollio - "krisis" • Naassom Azevedo - "Amigos em campus universitário"