The COVID-19 pandemic may be the one playing tricks on Halloween this year, as many events face the possibility of getting canceled because of the virus. The thing most at stake? Trick or treating.
“Trick or treating is probably really not recommended right now,” said the Worcester County Health Department Public Information Officer, Travis Brown.
Health officials tell 47 ABC between going door to door, grabbing candy out of bowls, interacting with different neighbors, and traveling in large groups, the potential to contract the virus from trick or treating is real.
“We think it’s not appropriate or safe for lots of children and families to be out on Halloween night,” said the Mayor of the town of Berlin, Gee Williams.
But health officials say if you do decide to go out on Halloween night with your children to trick or treat, it’s critical that you follow safety guidelines.
“Sanitize hands between houses, wear face coverings. With trick or treating on Halloween, that’s kind of already incorporated in a lot of the costumes, you already have a mask there, so that is at least part of it,” said Brown.
As for who decides if trick or treating or other Halloween related events are allowed to take place:
“It would then fall upon municipalities, and towns, and communities to make that decision,” said Brown.
And some towns are already weighing in.
“The town of Berlin this year will not be hosting or sponsoring any Halloween events within the town of Berlin. We are encouraging our citizens to turn off their porch or front door lights if they are not accepting trick or treaters,” said Williams.
“At the end of the day, the overall recommendation that we’re hearing so far is, it’s not recommended,” said Brown.