New York Health Department on Halloween: Do not Trick-or-Treat if You Cannot Socially Distance

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The New York State Department of Health advised against children engaging in trick-or-treating on Halloween where “social distancing” cannot be maintained.

New Yorkers choosing to participate in Halloween celebrations should “avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters,” according the state’s health department.


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Expecting trick-or-treaters this Halloween? If you’re handing out treats this Halloween, the best option is to leave a bin outside the door with candy or set up a station outside to hand out treats. . If you hand out treats from the door, post a sign on the door asking people to step back 6 feet. . Make sure your hands are clean and wear a face covering. . Do not allow people to put their hands in a bag or bowl that you are holding. . . Image description: Icons depicting candy, a person standing 6 feet away from a house, hands being washed and a face covering. Text reads, “Giving Out Treats Safely During COVID-19. If you decided to give out candy, leave a bowl outside your door with treats. If you hand out treats from the door, post a sign on your door asking people to step back 6 feet. Keep hands clean. Wear a face covering.” #Halloween #Halloween2020 #HalloweenNYC #COVID19nyc #Coronavirus #CoronavirusNYC #WearAMask #MaskUp #MaskUpNYC #PreventTheSpread

A post shared by NYC Health (@nychealthy) on Oct 30, 2020 at 3:25pm PDT

The advisory lists the following behaviors under its “do” column:

• Always stay socially distanced from those who are not living in your household. family costume theme!

•Always stay socially distanced from those who are not living in
your household. (You don’t want to get too close to a witch, a
ghost, or especially a virus!)

• For those choosing to give out treats, avoid direct contact with

• Give treats outdoors. Set up a station with individually bagged or packaged treats for kids to take. Participate in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard).

• It is best to take candy only if it is individually wrapped in a sealed wrapper or baggy, and is available to grab and go placed separately from other candies, so kids can easily pick up their treats without touching candy another child will take (e.g., no bowls).

• If setting a grab and go station, set it six feet from your front door, which will allow trick or treaters to feel comfortable to approach, knowing they will not be in close contact with anyone at the location.

The state directs adults giving out candy at their homes to maintain six feet of distance between themselves and trick-or-treating children.

New Yorkers should leave parties if other attendees are not properly masked or distanced, according to the memorandum.

“If you do go to an event and see a large crowd, or if there are others there who are not wearing face coverings or staying socially distanced, you should leave and find another way to
celebrate Halloween,” it reads.

The guidance further invites New Yorkers to consider replacing sweets and snack foods with “non-candy Halloween treats” such as “spooky or glittery stickers, magnets, temporary tattoos, pencils erasers, bookmarks, glow sticks, or mini notepads” to reduce the risk of coronavirus and COVID-19 transmission.

State officials also recommend replacing conventional trick-or-treating on Halloween with alternative activities, including “room to room” trick-or-treating in one’s own home.

“Halloween should be spooky, not scary!” according to a memo issued by the Empire State’s health department.


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