Chicago releases Halloween plan allowing trick-or-treating with some COVID-19 restrictions

Chicago News

CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Chicago’s plan for celebrating Halloween amidst the coronavirus pandemic Thursday, allowing trick-or-treating under certain rules.

“After so much has been taken away over this past year it’s important to me and to parents across Chicago that we give our kids something to look forward to; but in order for us to do that we need to do it in the right way,” Lightfoot said.

Traditional haunted houses and house parties will not be allowed. Lightfoot said trick-or-treating will be allowed, but under these guidelines:

  • Everyone including candy givers should wear a face covering meant for preventing the spread of COVID-19 (costume masks are not a substitute)
  • Residents should leave a light on and/or hang a sign to show they’re participating
  • When handing out candy, use hand sanitizer and practice social distancing
  • Trick-or-treating groups should be six people or less
  • Trick-or-treaters need to stay on the move to avoid congregating
  • Candy shouldn’t be left in shared bowls where kids need to reach in, and should be eaten at home after washing hands

The City posted its “Halloweek” plan online Thursday afternoon

WATCH ABOVE: Mayor Lightfoot and CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady announce Chicago’s Halloween plan Thursday

Lightfoot and Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said the City determined they could allow for trick-or-treating because COVID-19 cases and positivity rates continue to decline in the city.

As the city also eases some restrictions on businesses Thursday, Lightfoot said Chicago has been able to have “the most open economy in the nation” throughout the crisis.

“The reason that we are able to be carefully relaxing some of these restrictions is we are doing better from a COVID perspective,” Arwady said.

Arwady said the number of new infections in the city remains stable and its 7-day test positivity rate ranks among the lowest in the state as it continues to fall, reaching 4.3 percent Thursday.

In addition to trick-or-treating, Lightfoot said celebrations will be planned across the city throughout the week under what the city is calling “Halloweek.”

This will include neighborhood popup events called “Halloweek on the Block,” which the city is producing in coordination with the Chicago Bulls, Blackhawks and other sponsors.

Lightfoot said Blommer’s Chocolate Factory also created 10,000 bags of chocolate that will be distributed throughout the week, and “in the spirit of Willy Wonka” some will include golden tickets which winners can trade in for a 10-pound chocolate bar.

Both Lightfoot and Arwady said the fall and winter are about “doubling down” on measures meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19, since the risk of transmission increases as people move indoors.

The State of Illinois released its own guidelines for a safe Halloween Wednesday, including recommendations on how to trick-or-treat safely. Traditional activities like haunted houses and crowded costume parties are also not allowed under state rules.

A guide from the CDC also ranks fall activities by the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Activities done at home with family carry the lowest risk. Observing social distancing, using hand sanitizer, one-way trick-or-treating and wearing masks meant for preventing the spread of the virus — not just for costumes — are a way to moderate the risk of transmission.


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