Halloween often comes with various reasons to remind children and residents to be safe this fall season, ranging from staying close to family and friends while trick-or-treating to checking candy and snacks before eating them, looking both ways before crossing the street during Halloween and much, much more.
This year, although much like the past several months, Halloween will be much different than past years as residents will now have to be mindful of COVID-19 when deciding if they will allow their children to partake in the years’ trick-or-treating festivities.
Late last week at the beginning on October, Berlin Borough released on it’s Facebook page that trick-or-treating hours will be from 3 to 7 p.m. this year. This is different than the 4 to 8 p.m. time window the borough has made available for trick-or-treating in recent years.
According to Municipal Clerk Dwayne Harris, the borough is hopeful that the four-hour time window will allow residents across the municipality to partake in trick-or-treating at more spread-out times to allow for maximum social distancing to protect against COVID-19.
Last month, Gov. Phil Murphy said he plans for the state to still allow children across New Jersey to participate in trick-or-treating, however that can change between now and Oct. 31. However, assuming it goes as planned, residents should be mindful of various ways to keep themselves and other healthy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced its position on the upcoming Halloween season, saying it did not believe traditional trick-or-treating staples were safe enough to allow to happen, as residents going to houses or cars during trick-or-treating or at trunk-or-treats were considered potentially dangerous as it pertains to the spread of COVID-19.
However, one alternative that the CDC recommended is also one Berlin Borough pointed out may be a safe way for residents to give out candy this year.
“If you hand out treats, consider setting them outside and lining up individually prepared treat bags for trick-or-treaters to take,” said the release from Berlin Borough. “Non-edible treats are also a good option, especially for children who may suffer from food allergies.”
After bringing treats home, the borough also recommends parents and children wipe down the packages and practices good hygiene throughout the afternoon.
“How much the touching of objects spreads the COVID-19 virus is not clear. If you collect treats, you may want to wipe the packages or let them sit for a couple of days before giving them to your child,” said the release. “And, of course, good hand hygiene like washing hands or using hand sanitizer before, during and after trick-or-treating is always a good idea.”
For additional questions and guidance, residents can call Berlin Borough at (856) 767-7777 for help regarding trick-or-treating during COVID-19.