How to safely celebrate Halloween in Hampton Roads

Posted at 4:58 AM, Oct 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-09 07:50:17-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va.— Halloween is not canceled, but like nearly every other aspect of life, coronavirus is changing how it will look this year.

Cities across the 757 are releasing their recommended guidelines for having a fun and safe Halloween.

City of Chesapeake is encouraging people to sanitize hands in between stops, to social distance and to properly mask up.

“Some of those costume masks have holes in them; it might not fit quite tightly enough. Continue to wear that cloth mask,” explained Elizabeth Vaughn with the City of Chesapeake.

The CDC suggests low-risk activities like an outdoor distanced movie night with friends or carving or decorating pumpkins at a distance with friends as safe alternatives to trick-or-treating.

The CDC says trick-or-treating with distance strategies is a moderate-risk activity.

To do this, people can fill up goodie bags and place them on the driveway so that families can grab them and go. Just make sure you wash your hands for 20 seconds before and after filling them up.

“I think the thing that I’m going to do is put a long table out at the end of my driveway,” said Vaughn. "That really puts a physical visible barrier between you and everybody else, and it also allows you to spread that candy out, which is going to be helpful for the kids because they’re going to get excited; they’re all going to want to jump on that candy bowl.”

The CDC says people should avoid high-risk activities like handing out candy at their door or from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots and going to indoor haunted houses where people may be crowded together and screaming.

“Thanksgiving is right around the corner, you know. We’ve got more holidays to come, and if we start having outbreaks, that’s really going to hamper our plans for all the holidays yet to come,” said Vaughn.

Chesapeake predicts less people will want to pass out candy this year, which is why it’s important to be mindful of who isn’t participating.

Related: Interactive Halloween website helps identify trick-or-treating risks, alternative ways to celebrate

“If that’s you, turn your light out; then you won’t have people coming up to your doorway. We ask of the trick-or-treaters to respect that, so if you don’t see the porch light on, then that’s not a house to go up to,” cautioned Vaughn.

No matter what choice you make, everyone is encouraged to think about what makes sense for their family and keep safety in mind.

“We really have to be thoughtful, and we really have to do this the right way.”