Illinois: No haunted houses this Halloween
Traditional haunted houses are off-limits in Illinois under the state's reopening plan. The show may go on for trick-or-treaters though, and that's something to celebrate for sure.
The Illinois Department of Public Health just released updated guidelines for fall activities. Naturally, the IDPH asks that whatever you do, you do it safely, using all the proper social distancing guidelines.
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Here are the highlights from the IDPH report on safely celebrating Halloween:
- Anyone participating in trick-or-treating, including those passing out candy, should maintain 6-feet of social distance and wear proper face coverings.
- Consider leaving individually wrapped candy at any outdoor space where 6-feet of distance can be maintained.
- A Halloween costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask. Ensure that breathing is not impaired if a cloth mask is worn under a costume mask. If so, discard the costume mask.
- Trick-or-treat in groups with household members only.
- Candy collected during trick-or-treating should not be eaten until after handwashing.
An alternative to traditional trick-or-treating is to set up in a large parking lot or other outdoor setting with tables with individually wrapped candy (spaced apart) where participants with a parent/guardian can parade past while still keeping 6-feet of distance and wearing a face covering. It’s suggested to offer reserved time slots to limit everyone showing up at once.
- Halloween haunted houses currently are not allowed in Restore Illinois Phase 4 Guidelines.
- Consider open-air, one-way haunted forests or haunted walks where 6-feet of distance can be maintained and face coverings are used.
Adult costume parties, social gatherings, Halloween parties at bars
- Gatherings of more than 50 people or 50% or more of a building’s maximum occupancy are prohibited.
- The more time you spend at a gathering, the closer the contact, the more people, the higher your risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Pumpkin patches and orchards
- Cloth face coverings and social distancing should be enforced.
- Use hand sanitizer before handling pumpkins, apples, and other produce.
- Hayrides should not exceed 50% capacity with parties spaced at least six feet apart.
- Wear face coverings at all times when around people not from your household.
After participating in any of the above activities, if you think that you may have been exposed during your celebration, take extra precautions for 14 days after the event to help protect others.