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Hamilton County health commissioner: Trick-or-treaters should mask up on Halloween

Posted at 11:47 AM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-23 11:47:16-04

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio — Trick-or-treaters should incorporate masks into their costumes this year, and parents should consider limiting the number of homes children visit, Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman said.

While there is no statewide mandate on Halloween this year, Kesterman issued these recommendations during the county’s COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday:

  • Anyone who is sick should not participate in trick-or-treating
  • Wear cloth mask under your costume/outfit
  • If going door to door, consider limiting how many houses you visit
  • Respect “lights off” rule; don’t go up to houses with lights off

The last point is especially important to follow this year because a number of people are still isolating because of concerns and underlying health conditions, Kesterman said.

“Not everyone feels comfortable with your child coming up to their door and knocking. This year we really need to respect the lights off. If the lights are off at a house, I’m asking you to make sure your children aren’t going up and bothering that home,” Kesterman said.

Wearing a mask while trick-or-treating and handing out candy will decrease the chances of an outbreak, Kesterman said.

“Masking is important. It’s not a political issue, it helps slow the spread of germs,” Kesterman said.

The Ohio Department of Health released its guidelines on Halloween on Friday. While there aren't restrictions necessarily, the health department says participants should keep sanitizer on hand and remain six feet away from people who are not members of their household.

Trick-or-treaters should be cautious, and households handing out candy should be creative. Instead of sending children from house to house, the health department’s instructions include suggestions such as holding a drive-by costume contest, leaving treats in mailboxes or — memorably — “using a candy ‘slide’ made of PVC pipe or hanging treats from a wall or fence” to get them to trick-or-treaters.