SPRINGFIELD, NJ — In an interview ahead of this year's Halloween season, Springfield Mayor Chris Capodice urged residents who would be trick-or-treating to follow COVID safety protocols to keep cases down in town.
Capodice stressed that he did not want to cancel Halloween festivities, but was looking for Springfield residents to be on their best COVID-safe behavior.
“We want the Township of Springfield and the youth of Springfield to have an enjoyable Halloween, but we do understand and recognize [cases are] starting to spike, and that’s why we are putting out guidelines to help everyone enjoy the Halloween Day safely," Capodice said. "We do anticipate a lot of people out. It is going to be on a Saturday, so we want to make it an enjoyable situation, but also we want people to remain safe."
As such, he laid out a list of guidelines that he hopes trick-or-treaters will follow in town this year, including;
- Wear masks
- Social distance
- Try to stay in your neighborhood
- Try to stay within your own family as you trick-or treat
- Do everything you can not to spread the virus
- If you’re not feeling well or you are under self-quarantine, do not participate
In order to make it safer for those handing out candy as well, Capodice laid out some suggestions that residents could use to make dispensing treats safer and easier for everyone.
"For those putting out trick-or-treats, maybe instead of putting treats directly in bags, perhaps you could fill bowls that multiple hands could reach into, candy can be arranged in a way that can be easily grabbed without multiple pieces being touched," he said. "You could put a bowl out in front of your stoop so that they could just help themselves. You could put a sign up on your window or by your door [saying] whether you’re participating this year or not."
In addition, with the early sunset, Capodice said for trick-or-treaters to make sure that they are carrying glow sticks or reflective gear to make people know where they are.
Finally, he shared the justification for why the township is not closing Tooker Avenue for candy-gathering, a move the township has taken in recent years.
We are not closing down Tooker," Capodice said. "I know Tooker is a very popular place, and as such, we have closed the street down in previous years. We’re not going to do that this year because we do not want to promote the large gathering of people, and we ask that if you do go on Tooker, please be aware of the parking situation, be aware of pedestrians. We want everybody to have a good, fun, safe Halloween. Just be aware this is abnormal times, and we all have to do our part to keep everybody safe."