CITY OF RACINE — The City of Racine's public health department has decided to allow trick-or-treating this year, but warns people "should not assume it is safe."
City of Racine's chief of staff, Shannon Powell, issued a statement Friday, writing that the Wisconsin Department of Health Services still offers the best advice regarding the beloved event - do not participate in trick-or-treating.
But the reality is that many communities near the city have decided to go ahead with issuing official trick-or-treating hours. And that affected the city's decision Friday.
"Given that all of our neighboring communities, except one, have scheduled Halloween as usual, our fear is that City residents will simply go to neighboring villages where COVID-19 is actually more prevalent and could be put at greater risk,” said Dottie-Kay Bowersox, Public Health Administrator for the City of Racine, in the statement.
City of Racine Mayor Cory Mason emphasized the message of staying on the safe side this year.
“I want to clear, not participating in trick-or-treating or in-person Halloween events is the safest thing to do. We continue to see spikes in cases after every holiday. It’s a tough decision parents have to make, but I am going to lead by example," Mason.
The mayor says that he will not be taking his children trick-or-treating.
For those who do, though, the city's health department issued some guidelines (verbatim):
- All adults and children should be masked (spooky or otherwise) indoors and outside
- Candy should be handed out by one masked individual (children should not reach into bowls), and use hand hygiene between trick-or-treaters
- Families collecting candy should put their collected candy aside for at least 72 hours as an additional precaution
- Avoid in-person haunted houses, large public gathers, in-person indoor parties, happy hours or socializing at bars
- Stay within your own neighborhood/municipality, avoid traveling to others
- Stay home if you are sick or have COVID-19 symptoms
- Social distance at least 6 feet apart, indoors and outdoors, from non-household members
- Sanitize your hands frequently – after covering a cough or sneeze, touching your mask, or collecting candy