Pandemic alters Halloween across Illinois
SPRINGFIELD — Halloween festivities will look a bit different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In some Illinois communities, like Aurora, trick-or-treating hours are being extended to allow groups to social distance. Some towns are altering the event altogether, like in Crystal Lake, where they are offering a drive-thru “Truck or Treat” for candy.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has issued guidelines to help people celebrate safely. Director Ngozi Ezike suggests altering the usual trick-or-treating ritual.
“Trick-or-treating could now involve just setting out individually wrapped pieces of candy spaced out on a table where kids in costumes socially distanced can still pass by and retrieve it,” Ezike said.
IDPH also said a Halloween costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask. Ensure that breathing is not impaired if a cloth mask is worn under a costume mask, If so, discard the costume mask.
In Elmhurst, they are taking a unique approach to trick-or-treating. The city has designated green and red signs for residents to place in their windows to let trick-or-treaters know whether they are allowed. Green means they’re welcome, red means they’re not. The signs will be mailed to every resident later this month.
In Naperville, it is a little simpler. A city official told the Daily Herald, “those who don’t want trick-or-treaters should leave their coach lights off.”
IDPH reminded Illinoisans that haunted houses currently are not allowed in Restore Illinois Phase 4 guidelines, and to consider open-air, one-way haunted forests or haunted walks where 6-feet of distance can be maintained.
One event that would fall into that category is in Galesburg. This is the fourth year for the “Walk of the Dead Haunted Trail” through Lakeside Nature Center. Social distancing efforts are being taken, and face coverings are required.
IDPH said hayrides are allowed, but should not exceed 50% capacity with parties at least 6 feet apart, and at pumpkin patches and orchards, use hand sanitizer before handling pumpkins, apples, and other produce.