METRO EAST — The Illinois Department of Public Health discouraged Halloween gatherings in guidance released Wednesday and advised to keep six feet of distance and wear masks during trick-or-treating.
“We are still in a pandemic, and unfortunately, this year, that means the safest way to celebrate is to stay home and plan virtual gatherings,” department Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “That said, IDPH recognizes that some who will choose to gather together anyway, and instead of denying that reality, we are issuing guidance and recommendations for safer ways to celebrate together in person.”
The department advised that anyone passing out candy or trick-or-treating maintain six feet of distance and wear a face covering — not including a costume mask.
The department said residents should consider leaving individually wrapped candy on a table or in driveways, spaced out, outdoors. Residents should trick-or-treat in groups with household members only, and wash hands before eating candy collected during trick-or-treating.
Haunted houses are not allowed under the state’s guidelines. Open-air, one-way haunted forests or walks are allowed.
The department said face masks and social distancing should be enforced at pumpkin patches and orchards, and hayrides should not exceed 50% capacity, with groups spaced at least six feet apart.