CU mayors issue trick-or-treating COVID-19 guidelines


Photo Courtesy of Rick Cinclair

Children trick-or-treat at the Worcester Senior Center in Worcester, Massachusetts on Oct. 31. The mayors of both Urbana and Champaign are encouraging residents to take precautions against COVID-19 during trick-or-treating this Halloween.

By Samantha Boyle, Managing Editor for Reporting

Ahead of Halloween, Champaign-Urbana officials released official trick-or-treating standards to avoid making the holiday an agent of the coronavirus.

Since Halloween falls on Saturday, trick-or-treating will run from 5 to 7 p.m.

On Friday, Champaign Mayor Deborah Feinen and Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin urged all residents to discuss and practice social distancing measures for homes giving out candy as well as the children who will be trick-or-treating.

The Illinois Department of Public Health and Champaign-Urbana Public Health District have issued safety guidances for all trick-or-treaters.

Some of the guidances include leaving individually wrapped candy on houses’ front walkways, sidewalks or any other outdoor space that would allow for six-foot social distance. Anyone who is distributing candy should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds before placing candy out and replenishing it.

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Also, everyone who is passing out candy or trick-or-treating should also wear proper face masks. A costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering, CUPHD said. The district advised to make sure no breathing problems occur if wearing a face mask under a costume mask.

Trick-or-treating in groups should only be done with other household members and groups should maintain a six-feet distance between other trick-or-treaters. Hand sanitizer should also be carried and used frequently.

Any candy got from trick-or-treating should not be eaten until hands have been washed. All candy should be checked and any unwrapped candy should be thrown out.

CUPHD also encourages trick-or-treating in outdoor places instead of enclosed areas such as apartment buildings because they present a greater risk of transmission of COVID-19.

These guidances also apply to other fall festivities around the counties. Trunk or Treat events are discouraged unless they’re spread out; haunted houses, forests or walks are not allowed and pumpkin patches, orchard visits and hayrides should adhere to social distancing and capacity guidelines.

Fall festival events should be avoided in areas with community spread. Social gatherings, costume parties and Halloween parties at bars should also be socially distanced adhere to capacity guidelines.

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