WASHINGTON — Halloween is almost here and soon, Washingtonians will begin their preparations for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The U.S. still faces high numbers of daily COVID-19 cases though there has been a sharp decline in the number of cases since mid-September, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of Oct.15, the seven-day average for cases is just over 80,000, according to CDC data.

The agency issued updated guidance Friday on how Americans can stay safe during the holidays while celebrating with family. In Washington, daily case counts, new hospital admissions and deaths have gradually declined from the peaks of late summer, but transmission rates remain high across much of the state, and health officials are uncertain what the winter ahead may bring.

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