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Police want southern Nash County residents to be careful this Halloween, especially if they take their children trick-or-treating.
“We have received many questions regarding Halloween and if trick-or-treating on Saturday, Oct. 31, was going to be canceled this year,” said Bailey Police Chief Steve Boraski. “We do not have a local ordinance in Bailey that regulates Halloween. Halloween is not canceled. As in years past, if you want trick-or-treaters, turn on your lights; if you don’t want them, leave your lights off. Most treaters are out between 6-8 p.m. from what we have observed in the past.”
In Middlesex, police won’t be handing out candy this year as they have for many years, said Middlesex Police Chief Mike Collins.
The Spring Hope Police Department is recommending that everyone take extra precautions if trick-or-treating this year.
Police want trick-or-treaters to adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for everyone’s safety, said Spring Hope Police Chief Nathan Gant.
“Wear masks and remain at least 6 feet from others,” Gant said. “If our citizens participate in trick-or-treating this year, then that is their right to do so.”
Authorities are offering the following tips for trick-or-treating amid the COVID-19 pandemic:
• If you have COVID-19, or you could have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, don’t participate in trick-or-treating or give out candy to guests. If you are sick, stay home. Use common sense to keep you and your family safe.
• Share with your children that this year may be different but still will be fun.
• Talk with children about social distancing guidelines and expectations. Keep a 6-foot distance from others not in your group. To help with social distancing, go to one side of the street at a time and stay to the right.
• Trick-or-treat with people you live with and avoid congregating in groups around houses.
• Wear a face mask covering both mouth and nose. A Halloween mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask or other safety masks.
• Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask if wearing both causes difficulty breathing. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
• Only go to houses with safety measures in place.
• Wear reflective clothing or items so you can be seen.
• Use sidewalks and pedestrian crossing areas.
• Inspect candy prior to eating.
• Wash hands thoroughly after trick-or-treating.
Homeowners and renters should:
• Use duct tape to mark 6-foot lines in front of the home and leading to the driveway or front door.
• Position a distribution table between yourself and trick-or-treaters.
• Distribute candy on a disinfected table to eliminate direct contact or use other means in line with social distancing guidelines.
• Consider handing out candy in an open space where distancing is possible, rather than from the front door.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services strongly recommends residents participate in alternative Halloween activities instead of traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating.
• Low-risk activities include carving or decorating pumpkins, virtual Halloween costume contests and Halloween movie night with members of the household.
• Moderate risk activities include no or low-touch trick-or-treating, preparing individually wrapped goodie bags at the end of the driveway or yard for trick-or-treaters and attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people remain more than 6 feet apart.
• High-risk activities include attending crowded costume parties held indoors, participating in traditional trick-or-treat activities where treats are handed to children who go door-to-door or children take candy from a shared bucket and having trunk-or-treat events where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.