HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY/WHTM) – What will Halloween look like this year? One thing’s for sure. It will no doubt be different.
Halloween 2020 converges with a full moon, a blue moon, daylight saving — and it falls on a Saturday.
Of course, the holiday is also happening during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Halloween and Costume Association (HCA) issued new coronavirus guidelines and an interactive map to help families stay safe this Halloween.
The group created an interactive map on their website with color-coded risk levels for each county throughout the country. There are four risk levels: Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red — with Green representing the least amount of risk and red being the most. The colors are based on the current COVID-19 case and death count data.
According to HCA, the map was developed by the Harvard Global Health Institute.
The Hampton Roads region has all of the risk level colors represented, including several highlighted in red.
“Families and policy-makers need clear and consistent information when it comes to COVID-19 risks to inform decision-making, including how to participate safely in the upcoming Halloween holiday and trick-or-treating activities associated with it,” said Dr. Ingrid Katz, Infectious Diseases Expert, and Associate Faculty Director at the Harvard Global Health Institute.
They also have recommended activities based on the risk zone.
In the green zone, the HCA says trick or treating can proceed normally, as long as social distancing guidelines are in place. Small parties with close friends are okay as well.
In the yellow zone, trick or treating is still possible, but the HCA says to make sure the places you are visiting follow safety protocols so you can stay safe. Any party goers should be wearing face masks indoors.
In the orange zone, the HCA recommends “trick or treat in reverse!” This means that kids can get dressed up in their favorite costumes and hang out in their front yards, and neighbors can walk or drive by and deliver candy to kids. Parties should be outdoors only with social distancing guidelines followed.
In the red zone, trick or treating is not recommended. The HCA says there are too many risks involved. Instead, they recommend zoom parties, Netflix parties, and setting up candy stations inside and outside of the house for kids to discover throughout the night.
There are social distancing guidelines and best practices listed on the HCA site for trick-or-treaters, homeowners and parents.
10 On Your Side reached out to officials in Hampton Roads cities to find out what their plans are this Halloween, amid the pandemic. Those who responded so far said it’s just to early to know for sure. They also cited the HCA website.
A Suffolk City spokesperson replied, “It is unknown at this time if there will be any special mandates from Governor Northam regarding Halloween and trick-or-treating. In Suffolk, trick-or-treating is for those ages 12 and under and trick-or treating in Suffolk ends at 8 p.m. by City Code.”
Julie Hill with the City of Virginia Beach told WAVY News 10, “A lot can happen between now and then. As has been the case with other events and situations, we are guided by and share what public health officials recommend as well as the conditions the Governor establishes.”
Stay with 10 On Your Side for updates regarding any special Halloween mandates for Hampton Roads.