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Webster Trick-or-Treat

Will you be handing out candy this year?

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Is this a trick, or can we have treats? After New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he will not ban New Yorkers from trick-or-treating this Halloween, residents have been trying to decide whether they will participate in the door-to-door, handing-out-candy festivities.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently recommended against trick-or-treating this year, due to fear of spreading the coronavirus and concerns that some people will neglect to wear masks and social distance. The governor’s office subsequently said New York State will release certain guidelines following a consultation with the NYS Department of Health.


In the meantime, Webster residents have been taking to Facebook with their thoughts on whether or not they will be participating in trick-or-treating this year.


Many members of the Webster Neighbors Facebook Group say they still plan on handing out candy.


“Buy candy you like in case a few [trick-or-treaters] come by,” commented one resident.


“I’m making my annual BJ’s candy run next week. Going to sit out in front of [the] house - block off the porch,” commented another resident.


Most residents indicated that they plan on wearing face masks as a precaution.


“I am planning on handing out candy for Halloween, and I will be wearing a mask so we all feel comfortable,” one resident commented.


Other residents have suggested some creative or innovative ways to play it safe while still handing out candy.


“Heard about a family doing a candy hunt in their yard,” shared one resident. “Kinda like an Easter egg hunt. Hyping it up to get the kids excited.”


Another resident commented, “I have heard of neighborhoods doing costume parades and then having a treat basket for their own kids at home.”


“I have pre-bagged candy and plan on setting them on a table at the end of the driveway so they can grab a bag and wave!” commented a resident.


The majority of residents indicated that they enjoy seeing their children dress up and don’t want to ruin the Halloween fun.


“I will be handing out candy,” a resident commented. “My kids will be trick-or-treating. We have taken so much from them already. I won’t take this from them, too!”


A few residents indicated that they will not be handing out candy at all this year.


“We won’t have lights on,” commented one resident. “Prefer to not do candy this year.”


With the Village of Webster canceling its annual costume contest and the Webster Business Improvement District canceling the ever-popular “Trick-or-Treat Trail,” residents are already losing their traditional ways of celebrating Halloween.


The CDC states on its website that, “Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses.” It then offers several “safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween.”


The CDC suggests the following “low risk” activities:

  • 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” listed by the CDC include:

  • 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.


The CDC discourages these “higher risk” activities:

  • 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.

At the time of writing this article, it is unknown exactly when Governor Cuomo will release guidelines for trick-or-treating in New York State.


So will Halloween this year be filled with enthusiastic ghostly “Boos!” or only disappointed “Boo-hoos”?

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