Although Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s not banning door-to-door trick-or-treating this Halloween (Saturday, Oct. 31), “boys and ghouls” of all ages are being advised to take care to avoid a spread of the coronavirus to their neighbors.
“It is important to remember COVID-19 is still an issue locally and we are also starting flu season,” Public Health Director Paul Pettit said today. “With that in mind it is important to take the following precautions should you and your family choose to participate, barring any local or regional shutdowns of these activities:”
- New York State is still under the nonessential gathering limits of no more than 50 people, this includes indoor and outdoor activities. This would apply to Halloween parties. Any size gatherings should still adhere to face covering/social distancing requirements.
- Everyone participating in trick-or-treating should be wearing appropriate face covering that cover both the mouth and nose.
- Limit the number of hands touching the treats. Make sure those who are handling the treats have carefully washed their hands or sanitized them before touching them. If you wear gloves, be careful not to use your gloved hands to touch other objects, your face, etc.
- Frequently disinfect any objects that multiple hands may touch such as doorknobs, stair rails, doorbells/knockers, etc.
- If you or your child/children are experiencing any symptoms – STAY HOME!
- If you recently tested for COVID-19 or traveled from a restricted state/international travel – STAY HOME!
These are recommendations to help protect those who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 and the flu, Pettit said, and are subject to change.
Specific to the City of Batavia, Police Chief Shawn Heubusch said that all trick-or-treating activities must wrap up by 9 o’clock on Halloween night.
City officials will be issuing a press release concerning safety guidance toward the end of October, he added.
Earlier today, Cuomo, in an interview with News 12 on Long Island, said he didn’t think it was “appropriate” for him to cancel trick-or-treating.
“If you want to go knock on your neighbor’s door, God bless you. If you want to go on a walk with your child through the neighborhood, I’m not going to tell you that you can’t take your child through the neighborhood,” he said. “I’ll give you my advice and guidance, and then you’ll make the decision what you do that night.”
Previously, officials in Los Angeles banned trick-or-treating but then reversed their decision, choosing instead to say they don’t recommend it.
File photo of trick-or-treaters in the City of Batavia, 2018.