LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - With a month until Halloween, Kentucky and Indiana state officials are giving guidance for Halloween. Like everything else this year, it’s going to look different.
Normally around this time of year along Hillcrest Avenue in Louisville, houses all along the street are decked out with skeletons, lights, cobwebs, and other scary decorations. Halloween on Hillcrest Avenue usually sees about 75,000 people during the month of October, but this year, decorations are hard to find along the street. There are only occasional pumpkins on some porches.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said Wednesday he’s advising no big block parties for the spooky day.
“No big parties of kids coming together,” Beshear said. “You’re going to see it’s going to need to be individual families taking their kids out to trick or treat and then we’re going to ask that the way it’s done at the door to be done a little differently too.”
Beshear believes they have come up with a “reasonably safe” plan.
“Remember if you don’t trick or treat at all it’s safer in a time of COVID, but [we’ve come up with] a reasonably safe way that people can have, the kids can have a lot of the experiences,” Beshear said. “And those at the house can perhaps even watch the kids, but we avoid the direct interaction where you lean over the child and provide the candy directly.”
Dr. Steven Stack, the commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, reiterated Beshear’s message Thursday, listing out unsafe activities for Halloween this year - and his warning wasn’t just aimed at parents and children.
“This is not the year to have adult Halloween parties,” he stressed.
Stack said oftentimes adults have holiday parties that involve large groups and drinking, which is not a good idea as COVID continues to spread.
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“Please, let’s leave Halloween for the kids this year. It will still be there for the adults next year," he said.
Stack also noted that trunk-or-treat celebrations, haunted houses, and hayrides should be avoided as they often involve close person-to-person contact.
“You know you can’t do that in the middle of COVID,” Beshear echoed.
Indiana State Health Commissioner, Dr. Kristina Box, also offered guidance Wednesday, based on information from the CDC. She said if you have COVID-19, have been exposed to the virus, or are feeling sick, don’t pass out candy for trick or treating.
The CDC classified activities by lower risk, moderate risk, and higher risk.
Box said if you plan to pass out candy, make up some goodie bags and leave them at the end of the driveway for children to grab.
Both Kentucky and Indiana are still under a mask mandate, so those are important too.
“A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask,” Box explained. “A costume mask should not be used unless it is made with two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and does not leave gaps around the face.”
Box said if you plan to go to a haunted house, especially where people are screaming, extra social distancing is required.
“Many of these higher-risk activities are the ones that we normally associate with Halloween,” Box said. “I’m not trying to be the Grinch, or more appropriately, the witch who stole Halloween. But I don’t want COVID-19 to take that role either. So know your risk, and plan accordingly. Get creative and have a fun and safe Halloween.”
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