Jack o Lantern

The cities of Hamburg and Crossett have announced that they will observe Halloween on Oct. 31.

While Crossett’s announcement has only been that the holiday will be celebrated as usual on its actual date, the Hamburg announcement was published on the city’s Website with guidance about how to celebrate in the time of COVID-19.

“The Arkansas Department of Heath has provided the city with safe guidelines to follow so that we all may stay well,” Georganna Cossey with Hamburg City Hall said. “We want everyone to enjoy this holiday safely.”

The guidelines provided by the ADH state that anyone who feels they may have been exposed or anyone who has any of the related symptoms should not participate in any in-person Halloween activities or give out candy to trick-or-treaters.

The guidelines recommend that all people wear masks, but say that a costume mask should not be used in place of a havimask.

The document states, “A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.” The ADH recommends that people do not try to wear both as it could make breathing difficult and instead recommends that people use a Halloween themed cloth mask in place of any costume mask.

The lower risk activities recommended include pumpkin carving outside at home with family members, decorating a family house  or living space, participating in a Halloween scavenger hunt in which people are spread out during the activity or having a virtual Halloween contest.

Moderate risk activities include “one way trick or treat” where people move through a neighborhood in the same direction and grabbed pre-prepared goodie bags that are simply placed by the street, having a small get together of less than ten people who gather outdoors for an open air costume party or parade that allows for social distancing, having a trunk or treat event where goodie bags are picked up and not “handed out,”and  visiting pumpkins or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before picking pumpkins.

The high risk activities that people are urged to avoid include traditional trick-or-treating, hosting trunk or treat events where candy is passed out from trucks and cars and the vehicles are lined up too close to allow for social distancing, or attending costume parties or large gatherings indoors or outdoors with people who are not included in your household.

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