MONTCLAIR, NJ - Though the Township of Montclair hasn't canceled Halloween festivities, some local residents are taking matters into their own hands and are going dark for 2020.
Nearly 2000 trick or treaters are reported to frequent Montclair Avenue each year and this year, with COVID-19 cases on the rise, Montclair Avenue neighbors aren't having it.
Helen Torris, a resident of Montclair Avenue, took to social media to say, "Sadly, the general consensus on the street is that we will be going dark this year. Because of the current pandemic, we cannot in all good conscience have the usual 2000 visitors and remain safe."
The consensus to cancel seems to be echoed throughout many Montclair residents, that they will go dark for Halloween, as well.
One popular resident, lovingly known as, "the book lady," give out books each year. This year, she will not. Torris explains, "The book lady will also have lights out, but is graciously distributing her books through other outlets. Stay safe and see you next year.”
A few weeks ago, neighboring communities, such as Glen Ridge, decided to cancel trick or treating. Instead of doing so,Township of Montclair officials are leaving it up to residents to decide. They have released Halloween safety recommendations for trick or treaters.
Regarding Halloween, Montclair Township officials wrote:
Traditionally Halloween is a time for fun activities involving costumes, trick-or-treating with friends, indoor parties and neighborhood gatherings. Halloween will be rather different this year, requiring safer alternatives for celebrations.
The Township of Montclair reminds everyone that all COVID-19 safety measures should be adhered to when making plans for Halloween activities:
- keep in mind public health recommendations of social and physical distancing
- wear masks that cover the nose and mouth – costume masks are not an acceptable substitute for cloth or disposable masks
- be extra thorough with hand hygiene
- minimize interaction and contact with others who are not a part of your household
No one should take part in Halloween activities if they or a household member have a known exposure to COVID-19, are sick/symptomatic, or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have not yet met the criteria for discontinuing isolation.
When trick-or-treating remember – neighbors that are not participating in this activity are being extra cautious about virus transmission. The NJ Department of Health suggests coordinating with neighbors to develop a system, such as signs or on/off porch lights, for distinguishing houses participating in trick-or-treating from those that do not wish to participate.
The NJ Department of Health in its continued efforts to respond to the ongoing transmission of COVID-19 provides a number of recommendations for adapting traditional celebrations and suggestions for ways to celebrate Halloween safely. Download DOH recommendations.
Additional Halloween safety information is also available on the CDC website: