Halloween: Trick-or-Treat

Pictured are trick-or-treaters during a past Halloween evening in Jackson County.

JACKSON COUNTY — The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many events to be canceled, but one tradition held during the month of October will go on.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recently explained that he would not be placing a statewide mandate for trick-or-treaters this Halloween. Instead, DeWine left the decision to trick-or-treat or not to — up to individual communities and parents.

Once again, “Trick-or-Treat” will be held countywide in Jackson County on Halloween evening, which is Saturday, Oct. 31. Trick-or-Treat hours will be held between 5:30-7 p.m. in Coalton, Jackson, Oak Hill, and Wellston at the same time.

Jackson County Health Commissioner Kevin Aston, along with the Jackson County Health Department (JCHD), has decided to relay some guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to Jackson Countians who are anticipating Halloween.

“A document recently released by the CDC, traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating is not recommended,” stated Aston. “Please take extra precautions this year if you choose to participate in trick-or-treat to reduce the risk to yourself and to others of spreading the coronavirus so that we don’t have a surge of cases in Jackson County after Halloween.”

These precautions include but are not limited to:

Participants stay in small groups comprised of only people they share a household with, and children should be accompanied by their parent or guardian

  • All participants should wear a cloth mask or a Halloween mask for those dressing in costume
  • Candy should be handed out by an adult (and the adult should clean their hands as often possible if they are touching candy wrappers then handing them to children)
  • Consider a creative, safe way to hand out candy, such as by placing treats on porch steps or a table in the driveway with a sign asking children to take only one and have hand sanitizer available right nearby. Or use other creative ways to distribute treats, such as using a candy “slide” made of PVC pipe, or hanging treats from a wall or fence
  • Everyone should stay outside and physically distance themselves except for that brief moment when the adult quickly drops the piece of candy into the child’s bag; do not gather with other family groups
  • Wipe off candy wrappers with sanitizing wipes when you arrive home. (NOTE: Never wipe unpackaged food with wipes.)
  • If you are feeling sick, stay home and don’t pass out candy
  • The JCHD also recommends the following this Halloween:

    • It is strongly recommended that hayrides and haunted houses be canceled and avoided
    • Do not hold large in-person Halloween parties. If holding smaller parties, limit attendance to 10 or fewer people and hold the event in an outdoor area where social distancing is possible. Avoid activities, such as bobbing for apples, that foster the spread of infection

    These lower risk activities can be 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 goi
    • ng house to house.

    “Finally, please be respectful of homes and families that choose not to participate in a certain activity,” stated Aston. “This year is not the year to play tricks on homes that don’t hand out candy.”

    Aston added, “We must each decide for ourselves what level of risk we want to take, and whatever we each decide, we each must remember that the precautions we each take to prevent the virus from spreading to other people might spare someone else from suffering from a severe illness.”

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