Halloween is happening in New Jersey, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday, but it has to happen safely and with adherence to guidelines from the New Jersey Department of Health.
“You may wish to dress as a knucklehead this Halloween, but we don’t want anyone to act like one,” Murphy said. “Halloween is more than just a fun activity, it’s a real tradition. We want to make sure everyone has a chance to enjoy it but does that safely and responsibly.”
Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said the department always releases safety guidelines for Halloween every year, but added that this year is a little bit different. Here are the recommendations from the New Jersey Department of Health, shared by Persichilli:
- Those who plan to trick or treat should limit their groups to current household members.
- Consider staying local and limit the number of homes on your route.
- Social distancing should be practiced between all who are not in the same household.
- Trick or treaters must wear a mask ( a costume mask does not offer protection).
- The best option for offering treats is to arrange individually packaged candy so that trick or treaters can grab and go without accessing a shared bowl.
- Outdoor trunk or treats should limit the number of participating cars to ensure adequate space for social distancing and minimize crowds.
Persichilli does not recommend residents handing out candy to trick or treaters. “We don’t encourage that,” she said. “However, if you are handing out candy, please limit your interaction or contact with trick-or-treaters and wear a mask.”
“As a reminder, no one should participate in these activities if they or a household member have had a known exposure to COVID-19; have symptoms of COVID-19; or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have not yet met the criteria for discontinuing isolation or were told to quarantine,” she added.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had put out a warning in September against “traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door-to-door,” deeming it a high risk activity.
Baristanet asked Montclair Township officials how they might handle streets that are known for high volume crowds — such as Montclair Avenue. Mayor Spiller said the township would offer guidance closer to Halloween.