The City of Oak Ridge does not regulate Halloween activities, but it has offered health safety tips and alternatives to celebrating the spooky season during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses, the city said in a press release. If you might have COVID-19 or might have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters, the city said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), these are some low-risk activities:
- carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household or outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends;
- doing a Halloween scavenger hunt outdoors;
- admiring Halloween decorations at a distance; and
- having a virtual Halloween costume contest.
If you wish to trick-or-treat, the CDC recommends participating 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), the press release said. If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags.
A costume mask should not be used as a primary face mask unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face, the press release said. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
In addition to health safety measures, remember to bring a flashlight or wear reflective clothing so drivers and other trick-or-treaters can spot you, look for “flame resistant” on costume labels before buying, and be sure shoes fit well and costumes are short enough to prevent tripping.
As a reminder, the Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department will host a drive-through Children’s Halloween Party (Halloween Hollow) on Thursday, October 29, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Oak Ridge Civic Center. More information on the event and Halloween safety can be found at OakRidgeTN.gov.