TOWNSHIP OF NUTLEY HALLOWEEN GUIDELINES

The coronavirus pandemic has put a major damper on Halloween celebrations and other holiday events in our township.  Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses, therefore the Township of Nutley will not be hosting any township sponsored Halloween activities for 2020.

As many people in the community begin to plan for fall and winter holiday celebrations, CDC offers the following considerations to help protect individuals and their families, friends, and community from COVID-19. These considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any state or local health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which holiday gatherings must comply.

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Trick-or-Treating

The Mayor and Board of Commissioners are leaving it up to residents and parents to use their own discretion when deciding to hand out candy or allow children to go door-to-door. Those who plan to trick-or-treat should limit their groups to current household members, consider staying local, and limit the number of houses on their route. Residents who do not wish to participate in handing out treats are asked to place a sign in front of their residence to deter trick-or-treaters from approaching their home.

 

For those putting out treats:

  • Best Option: Instead of placing treats directly in the bags of trick-or-treaters or filling communal bowls that multiple hands reach into, individually packaged candy should be arranged in a way that they can be easily grabbed without multiple pieces being touched.
  • You can also 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.
  • If you are handing out candy, please limit interaction or contact with trick-or-treaters, wear a face covering when individuals come to the door, and regularly wash hands.
  • Any candy given out should be commercially packaged and non-perishable.

Please Note: No Applications Will Be Issued For Block Parties!

CDC Halloween Guidelines:

Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween. If you may have COVID-19 or you may 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.

Lower risk activities

These lower risk activities can be safe alternatives:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

Moderate risk activities

  • 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)
    • If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.
  • Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart
  • Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
    • A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used 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.
    • Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
  • Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
    • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
  • Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart
    • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
    • Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.

Higher risk activities

Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19