BETHESDA, MD — Summer is still technically here. But for many Montgomery County residents, it’s time to plan for the next big holiday: Halloween.
Given the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s trick-or-treat will undoubtedly look different from years’ past.
But what does that exactly mean for social gatherings and other spooky festivities?
According to Dr. Earl Stoddard, the county’s head of emergency management, it’s too soon to say.
“We are still six weeks away from (Halloween) and it’s really difficult to know exactly what Montgomery County is going to look like on Halloween today,” Stoddard said Wednesday.
He explained that officials are preparing guidelines “based on what is out there from other places,” but acknowledged that many Halloween activities in the county aren’t government- or business-driven.
“We will be providing guidance to try and do what we think is safe, but at the same time we can’t say too much today because we do not know what the circumstances of COVID-19 will be at the end of October,” Stoddard said. “Obviously we are trying to follow the data and the science. Prognostication is not our forte.”
Montgomery County, which is home to roughly 1.1 million people, continues to have the highest number of deaths in the state. The death toll as of Wednesday stands at 795.
It also has the second highest number of confirmed cases, after Prince George’s County, which has 28,034, according to the latest figures.