Mayor Joe Hogsett used his 2020 State of the City address to speak about the coronavirus pandemic, criminal justice reform and economic equity.
The city of Indianapolis is advising against traditional trick-or-treating on Halloween, but guidelines released Friday fall short of barring the activity during the coronavirus pandemic.
The only activity on the city’s “not allowed” list: in-person social gatherings of more than 50 people, an instruction that falls in line with the current Marion County Public Health Department public health order.
Regarding door-to-door trick-or-treating and “trunk-or-treating,” where treats are handed out from trunks of cars, these activities are not recommended because of challenges related to maintaining 6 feet of social distance. The practice of leaving candy in bowls for visitors to collect also is not recommended.
Dayana Valdez attends the 2019 Safe Night Halloween at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the event will not happen this year. (Photo: Grace Hollars/IndyStar)
The city suggested “one-way” trick-or-treating, where households prepare wrapped goodies for families to grab and go from the end of the driveway, for example.
Mayor Joe Hogsett and Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Public Health Department, made no statements to accompany the guidelines.
On Wednesday, Indiana Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said she didn’t want to be the witch that spoils Halloween, but she didn’t want the coronavirus “to take that role, either.”
The health commissioner announced a series of recommendations for Indiana residents that designated traditional trick-or-treating as a “high risk” activity. Box’s list of of “low risk” activities included decorating pumpkins and at-home trick-or-treating with family members.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department will schedule extra patrols and enforcement in neighborhoods from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31.
For residents celebrating the holiday, the city reiterated its face covering mandate and encouraged staying “three or more adult steps” away from anyone who’s not part of your own household.
The city advised against wearing Halloween costume masks, either alone or as additions over protective cloth masks. On its own, a costume mask doesn’t prevent the spread of germs. When placed over a cloth mask, a costume mask can impair the ability to breathe.
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Indoor Halloween parties are not recommended.
“Haunted house” attractions are considered risky if people congregate at entrance and exit areas. The city noted the potential for screaming to spread the coronavirus via respiratory droplets.
Social distancing is encouraged on hayrides, which should begin within 15 minutes of the participants being seated and should unload within 15 minutes of the ride’s end.
Contact IndyStar reporter David Lindquist at [email protected] or 317-444-6404. Follow him on Twitter: @317Lindquist.
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