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City of Milwaukee will not be issuing trick-or-treating hours this Halloween, citing COVID-19 concerns

Trick-or-treating safety tips
Posted at 3:18 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 17:57:08-04

MILWAUKEE — The City of Milwaukee is not supporting trick-or-treating this Halloween, nor will it be issuing trick-or-treating hours, citing COVID-19 concerns.

Milwaukee Interim Commissioner of Health Marlaina Jackson said during a press conference Tuesday that trick-or-treating, in which groups of children and parents move between homes where residents hand out candy, "is considered high risk and is therefore not supported by theMilwaukee Health Department."

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett added that the city does not anticipate deploying police officers to look for trick-or-treaters. The city will not be creating a designated time for trick-or-treating as the city has done in the past.

Barrett called the decision "an education issue more than anything else," as children may bring the coronavirus to their schools and homes.

The CDC has issued guidelines cautioning against holding trick-or-treating this fall, as it can accelerate the spread of COVID-19.

However, many municipalities in the Milwaukee area have decided to hold trick-or-treating this Halloween.

Several area health departments have recommended not holding trick-or-treating but did not go as far as banning the event.

Also on Tuesday, Gov. Tony Evers issued an order limiting the capacity of bars, restaurants and stores in the state to 25 percent.

The City of Milwaukee has published safety guidelines for trick-or-treating and Halloween activities. They recommend the following (verbatim):

  • If you have any COVID symptoms, please stay home.
  • Don’t wear two masks. 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.
  • Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer.
  • Maintain social distancing.
  • Keep activities outside as much as possible.

Lower Risk Activities and 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.
  • With so many fun decorations throughout the city, get in a car and play Halloween I-Spy with members of your household.

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).
  • 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.
  • 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.

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