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Milwaukee-area communities debate having trick-or-treating this Halloween

Trick-or-treating safety tips
Posted at 9:25 PM, Oct 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-05 23:50:08-04

MILWAUKEE — The North Shore Health Department is recommending that communities refrain from scheduling trick-or-treating events this year in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

But many communities in its area are going ahead with trick-or-treating anyway.

The Milwaukee-area health department cites CDC guidance, which determined that door-to-door trick-or-treating has the potential to accelerate the spread of the coronavirus.

Whitefish Bay has scheduled trick-or-treating for Halloween from 1-4 p.m. So have Glendale, Fox Point and Bayside.

But if areas do decide to go forward with trick-or-treating, the North Shore Health Department asks municipalities to adhere to the following (verbatim):

  • Wear a face covering and keep physical distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and nonhousehold family members. Bring hand sanitizer along to use as needed and wash your
  • hands when you return home.
  • Avoid trick-or-treating or trading candy with non-household members.
  • Wait 72 hours before consuming candy received while trick-or-treating. As an alternative, you could purchase candy or other Halloween treats to give to your children while waiting.
  • Do not host indoor or outdoor gatherings - block parties, festivals, parades.
  • If you are sick, do not participate in trick-or-treat.

Meanwhile, the Shorewood Village Board voted unanimously Monday night to refrain from setting organized trick-or-treating hours. Instead, the board voted to encourage the community to follow the guidelines from the CDC and the North Shore Health Department.

The board discussed it for at least a half hour, each trustee discussing how they faced a tough decision, but wanted to keep public safety in mind.

"As a parent who have had, our kids have had nothing to look forward to," said trustee Jessica Carpenter. "I really struggle with this."

"I really don't want to lose all those sacrifices we made for some cheap candy," said trustee Arthur Ircink.

North Shore Health Department Director Ann Christiansen joined the meeting to help the trustees understand the guidance.

"I'm not saying to ban trick-or-treating, I'm just saying to consider different and creative ways to not have, and again, I'm don't know if this is feasible for Shorewood, but to not have the full village at once moving through, so you got thousands of kids on the street," Christansen said.

In Monday's agenda, the board wrote it isn't aware of any cancellations of previously scheduled trick-or-treating in Milwaukee County.

The agenda also included a note that indicated the six other North Shore communities "anticipate moving forward with Trick or Treat" from 1-4 p.m. on Oct. 31, and that the health guidelines will be provided to the community.

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