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401 Lafayette St., Williamsburg, VA 23185


Oct. 8, 2020

Contact: Nicole Trifone, public information officer

Phone: 757-220-6197 (Office) or 757-707-0478 (Cell)
E-mail: ntrifone@williamsburgva.gov

City Advises Citizens to Follow Health Guidelines for Halloween Activities

Williamsburg, VA – The City of Williamsburg is advising citizens to follow guidance from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Virginia Health Department (VDH) on
how to enjoy a safe Halloween.

The CDC and VDH have categorized possible Halloween activities into three categories: lower
risk, moderate risk, and higher risk. The lower risk activities are safest and are recommended by
the City.

Both the CDC and VDH categorize traditional trick-or-treating, during which candy is handed to
children who go door-to-door, as a high-risk activity. One-way trick-or-treating, during which
individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab while adhering to physical
distancing guidelines, is categorized as a moderate risk.

Families who choose to trick-or-treat are asked to do so from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31 for children
ages 12 and under. Please assume a home is not participating in trick-or-treating if the front
porch light is off.

The City recommends families engage in only the lower risk activities identified by the CDC. The
CDC’s breakdown is below:

Lower Risk

• Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
• Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
• Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
• Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed
things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house
• Having 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 or
around your home rather than going house to ho
Moderate Risk

• Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are

lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (If preparing
goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and
after preparing the bags.)
• Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distance
more than 6 feet apart
• Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people
can remain more than 6 feet apart (Note: A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth
mask. Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask.)
• Going to open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is
enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
• Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching
pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are
able to maintain social distancing
• Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family and friends with people
staying at least 6 feet apart

Higher Risk

• Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go

door to door
• Having truck-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large
parking lots
• Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
• Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and
• Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
• Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgment and increase risky behaviors
• Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with
community spread of COVID-19

For CDC information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-


For VDH information, visit https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/182/2020/09/VDH-


Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treaters

The City recommends limiting activity to the lower risk items listed above. If you decide to trick-
or-treat, Williamsburg Police Department has a few health and safety tips for families who
decide to trick-or-treat:

• Use hand sanitizer between houses.

• Wear a cloth mask that covers both your mouth and nose, but do not wear both a
costume mask and a cloth mask at the same time.
• Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk with a trusted adult.
• Plan a trick-or-treating route in familiar neighborhoods with well-lit streets.
• Only walk on sidewalks, if possible. Otherwise, walk on the far edge of the road facing
• Choose bright costumes and have children carry flashlights or glow sticks so they are
easily visible. Adding reflective tape to costumes and candy bags also makes children
more visible.
• Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
• Teach children to say, “NO!” in a loud voice if someone tries to get them to go
somewhere, accept anything other than a treat, or leave with them.