Tips and reminders for celebrating Halloween

Happy Halloween. With COVID-19 cases on the rise in the Princeton region, especially among younger people, officials recommend that residents take a very cautious approach to celebrating the holiday Saturday night.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced about three weeks ago that celebrating the holiday was allowed in the state. The state governs regulations related to COVID-19, and municipalities are not allowed to develop their own rules with the exception of decisions on parks and playgrounds. The New Jersey Department of Health said people should wear masks that cover both their mouths and their noses, and hold parties outdoors or online, using programs like Zoom. Avoid indoor parties with members of more than one household. Indoor parties are among the riskiest activities for spreading COVID-19.

Do not accept trick-or-treaters at your doorstep. If you would like to offer “treats,” bag them so children can grab a bag, and place them at the end of your driveway, yard, or front walk. Spread out wrapped candy over a sanitized table and the clean table often. Don’t use bowls. Use duct tape or chalk on the ground to mark six-feet of separation between the table and anybody waiting their turn. Some residents have created slides using tubing and other materials to deliver treats to kids at a safe distance.

Other residents are celebrating Halloween by creating outdoor scavenger hunts instead of taking their children door to door. Others are watching Halloween movies with household members.

If you do go out, stick with members of your household and if non-household members gather with you keep at least 6 feet of distance. Wear a protective mask with your costume and protective gloves. Use hand sanitizer between house visits. Don’t let kids eat any treats until you have inspected them.

Carry a flashlight and keep a safe distance from moving cars. Cross at street corners, not diagonally across an intersection, and never between parked cars.