ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) — As the temperatures start to drop, families are getting ready for Halloween and trick-or-treating.
But will this holiday be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic? Local communities are taking extra precautions to make sure that Halloween goes on.
“Everybody is scrambling a little bit to come up with ways to make everything safer on a holiday that traditionally brings people together,” said Cranberry Township Parks & Recreation Director Pete Geis.
“We were receiving phone calls and questions back in September about this,” said Adams Township Parks & Recreation Director Haley Geyer said.
Geyer said Adams Township voted early to keep Halloween going despite the pandemic. There will also be a costume parade in the park with wrapped treat bags at the end.
“If people weren’t comfortable, they did give some recommendations. So those recommendations would be: turn your outdoor lights off if you are in a popular neighborhood that might have trick-or-treaters or you could post a sign on your door,” Geyer said.
Cranberry Township quickly followed suit with some advice for residents.
“Don’t give them a selection, just give them something out of the bowl. Don’t let any individuals or more individuals touch any of the candy,” said Geis.
But new this year, a second option.
“It was hard,” said Jen Rowsick from Latrobe. “We lost everything over the summer. And I thought Halloween, is just us walking around. We can wear a mask, we are outside. I’m not going to let anyone take this away from the kids.”
Rowsick says she planned an event in Latrobe for those whose special day may be canceled or they do not want to go door to door.
“They want to be able to pass out candy,” Rowsick said. “We are going to do a trunk-or-treat or just bring a chair and pass out candy.”
So if you decide to take your child out, what is the risk of contracting coronavirus?
“If they stick to the standard guidelines that we are already practicing in our day-to-day lives, their risk is probably relatively low,” said Allegheny Health Network Dr. Kady Miletti.
The doctor said to wear a mask and gloves when trick-or-treating.
“You are potentially having a barrier between you and a door or doorbell but also when you are picking up candy,” Dr. Miletti
Dr. Miletti also gave a suggestion for those who do not want to wear a mask.
“One other option is to lay out preset bags and you can still sit outside, be it a ways away, and see the costumes and have the kids pick up candy that is already laid out,” the doctor said.
Click here for the Halloween guide on trick-or-treating times.