Philly Releases Halloween Safety Guidelines Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Philadelphia's Department of Health released safety guidelines for Halloween.

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The coronavirus pandemic isn’t stopping Halloween in Philadelphia this year, though they’re still urging parents and children to take precautions. 

The Department of Health released the following Halloween guidelines:

Follow the COVID-19 Precautions

  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • If you have been in contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19, or has symptoms of COVID-19, stay home.
  • Wear a cloth face covering to prevent disease spread when outside of your home and around others who are not part of your household.
  • Keep activities outdoors.
  • Avoid close contact with others outside of your household. Stay at least 6 feet apart.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands frequently.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and items regularly.

Consider Alternatives to Trick-or-treating

  • Throw a Halloween party with your household members:
    • Decorate your home.
    • Have a Halloween movie night.
    • Create a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home, rather than going home to home.
  • Celebrate with friends through a virtual Halloween party or contest:
    • Have a virtual Halloween costume contest.
    • Carve and decorate pumpkins.
  • Participate in car parades where individuals remain in their vehicles:
    • Include socially distant judging for a costume contest.
    • Decorate your car with a Halloween theme.

Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treaters

  • Trick or treat with members of your household only.
  • Limit the number of houses you visit.
  • Ask children to stay as far away from the treat-givers as possible.
  • Have an adult hold the candy/bag for smaller children.
  • Only allow children to eat treats that come in their original wrapper.
  • Talk to your neighbors about ways to enjoy Halloween safely, including creative ways to distribute treats like hanging candy from a wall or fence for children to take.
  • Do not use a costume mask in place of a face mask.

Safety Guidelines for Houses Offering Candy

  • Do not hand out candy if you are sick.
  • Wear a face mask.
  • Use duct tape or Halloween décor to mark a 6-foot line from where you will be stationed.
  • Do one-way trick or treating:
  • Put candy on a table, wall, or fence for children to take.
  • If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands before preparing the bags.
  • Wash hands with soap and water often.

For Operators of Halloween Events and Attractions

  • Follow all state and local guidelines regarding event size (25 people indoors, 150 people outdoors).
  • Provide masks and hand sanitizer.
  • Hold events outside or in large spaces that allow for physical distancing. See Guidance for Outdoor Performances and Events.
  • Consider limiting common seating areas or play areas where people may congregate.

Notify the Philadelphia Department of Public Health at 215-685-5488 or covid@phila.gov if you learn that someone with COVID-19 has worked at or visited your event/attraction.

Philadelphia and New Jersey are allowing trick-or-treating this Halloween, but with guidelines aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus in place. In Delaware, state health officials are suggesting people leave out individually separated candy bags and keep distance from trick-or-treaters.
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