JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) In accordance with guidance from the NC Department of Health and Human Services, the Jacksonville Department of Public Safety is discouraging traditional Trick or Treating.
The NC Department of Health and Human Services strongly recommends that the alternative Halloween activities, instead of the traditional door-to-door trick or treating, be engaged in as much as possible.
“During these unusual times due to COVID-19, we want every family to be safe in their observance of Halloween,” said Chief Mike Yaniero, Director of Public Safety.
The Department of Public Safety also encourages families and households to participate in a program to decorate your home with Halloween themes.
The Jacksonville Environmental and Appearance Advisory Committee is hosting a Halloween decorating contest.
Entries can be made online for your decorated home or for a neighbor’s home.
Nominees must be within the City of Jacksonville and entries must include a photo.
For those choosing to participate in safe Trick or Treating, the Jacksonville Police Department requests the cooperation of Citizens and parents by limiting the hours of “Trick or Treat” from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 31.
The NC DHHS guidance discourages High Risk Exposure Activities such as:
- Participating in traditional trick or treating, where treats are handed to children and who go door to door or children take candy from a shared bucket,
- Holding trunk-or-treat with treats handed out from trunks of cars lined up on large parking lots, and
- Attending crowded costume parties held indoors.
The NC DHHS guidance recommended Moderate Risk Activities such as:
- Encourage no or low touch trick or treating
- Line up individually wrapped goodie bags 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)
- Wrap individual pieces of candy spaced out on a table for families/children to take themselves.
- Gently toss candy to trick or treaters from 6 feet away
- Create and use a “candy chute” or tube to pass candy from the porch to trick or treaters 6 feet away.
- Reverse trick or treat where children dress in their costumes and stay at their house or front yard where neighbors walk or drive by to drop off candy.
- Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people remain more than 6 feet apart.
The NC DHHS guidance recommended Low Risk Activities such as:
- Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
- Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance (more than 6 feet) with neighbors or friends
- Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
- Holding 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 and around your home, rather than going house to house.
However, if you and your family choose to celebrate Halloween, consider:
- If outdoors after dark, wear light-colored clothing – short enough to prevent tripping
- Parents can add reflectors to costumes and clothing
- A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask over a protective cloth mask can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it difficult to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween themed cloth mask.
- Stay within the neighborhood and only visit homes you know.
- Practice social distancing to the fullest extent, wear masks, and use hand sanitizer.
- Watch carefully for traffic
- Golf carts are not allowed on city streets and sidewalks