WESTFIELD, NJ — While officials said the guidance is subject to change based on the prevalence of COVID-19, Halloween is on in Westfield, albeit with physical distancing measures to be observed.
The guidelines issued by the town provide for a six-hour window recommended for trick-or-treating, a masking mandate and the police chief’s strong advice to get off the streets before darkness falls.
“This guidance is provided with the hopes and expectations of voluntary compliance by the community,” the town’s statement said. “COVID cases are on the rise in NJ, so we implore everyone to use sound judgment and abide by all COVID protocols.”
Town officials reminded the public not to participate in Halloween activities if they or a household member have any known exposure to COVID-19 or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have not yet met the criteria for discontinuing isolation.
- The recommended trick-or-treating hours in Westfield are 2 – 8 p.m. with guidance from the police chief to conclude before dark, 6 p.m., as much as possible.
- Limit groups to current household members when possible. Social distancing should be practiced between all who are not in the same household.
- Limit the number of homes on your route. Do not go inside homes and maintain a safe distance from those answering the door.
- Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose when trick-or-treating and giving candy. Costume masks do not count, as they don’t provide sufficient protection.
- Use hand sanitizer frequently.
- Always stay on the sidewalks and cross within crosswalks. For those out after dusk, wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight.
- Only accept candy that is factory sealed.
- Requests for street closures cannot be honored, due to the demand these requests place on the resources of the public works and police departments.
- Households should indicate with their porch/front door light if they are participating in the distribution of treats. Click here for a printable sign to put on your door indicating your will not be giving out candy.
The state Health Department has detailed options for treat distribution as follows:
- Good option: Limit interaction or contact with trick-or-treaters wear a mask when individuals come to the door and regularly wash hands.
- Better option: Leave a treat bowl on a porch or table or in a place where it may be easily accessed while adhering to social distancing requirements.
- Best option: Arrange individually packaged candy so that trick or treaters can grab and go without accessing a shared bowl.
- Candy should be commercially packaged and non-perishable. Consider individual nonfood “treats” to avoid the sharing of food.
- Avoid car travel as much as possible during peak trick-or-treating hours of 2 – 8 p.m.
- Drive slowly and without distractions.
- Enter and exit driveways with extra caution.
Avoid hosting or attending Halloween parties, as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in New Jersey, with contact tracing indicating that many stem from young people attending gatherings. Any social gatherings should be kept small, outdoors, and with proper social distancing and face covering protocols.
In addition to extra patrolling on Halloween, the Police Department will also deploy additional patrols on the night of Friday, Oct. 30, to deter and address any issues related to public safety or property damage.
Click here for additional Halloween guidance from the state Health Department.
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