Gloucester County offers tips on how to enjoy a safe Halloween

Freeholder director recommends guidelines for the holiday amid COVID

Halloween is on, according to Gov. Phil Murphy.

A Facebook post from the governor urged New Jersey residents to check out guidelines from the state health department on how to have a safe Halloween during COVID-19. Some of those guidelines include the best ways to hand out candy, how to hold Trunk-or-Treat events safely and how masks are important and should be worn during any holiday event.

Gloucester County is allowing trick or treating this year, but has left it up to municipalities to decide on curfews and certain guidelines.

“We want to make sure Gloucester County residents are able to enjoy Halloween,” Freeholder Director Robert Damminger said in his statement about Halloween protocols. “Everyone should still be cognizant of COVID-19 and their safety.”

The county urges anyone who has a known exposure to COVID-19, is sick or shows  symptoms, not to participate in Halloween activities. County residents should also use caution while participating in indoor group parties, activities and/or gatherings.

Other guidelines suggested by the county include staying with family groups while trick or treating, maintaining social distancing and carrying sanitizer to wash hands frequently. It is also suggested children wear masks with their costumes, since not all Halloween masks offer adequate protection against COVID.

Damminger’s statement also read: “Trick-or-treaters should avoid opening and/or eating candy while out in the neighborhood. Instead, wait until you get home to wash your hands thoroughly.”

It is also important for trick-or-treaters to only accept prepackaged candy and food.

In previous years, the Gloucester County Sheriff’s Office visited early childhood development centers to speak about rules and guidelines that should be adhered to during trick or treating   and when handing out gift bags with Halloween treats. Due to COVID, the department was unable to visit the centers this year but still urged children to stay in groups and not talk to strangers.

To view a full list of Gloucester County’s Halloween guidelines, visit www.gloucestercountynj.gov/alerts or bit.ly/30E0fXQ. For curfew information, check with the municipality where you reside.