Fayetteville health board discourages traditional trick-or-treating, offers safe alternatives

Trick-or-treaters on the downtown square / Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

The Fayetteville Board of Health this week issued a set of guidelines that discourages traditional trick-or-treating and other high-risk activities that could lead to community spread of COVID-19 this Halloween season.

The guidelines include activities that should be avoided, but also list several alternatives for a safe holiday.

Activities to avoid:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars
  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
  • Going to a haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household

Safe alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating:

  • Small group, outdoor costume parades
  • Outdoor pumpkin carving/decorating while social distancing
  • Halloween scavenger hunt with lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while walking in a neighborhood
  • Having an Easter egg hunt-style trick-or-treat search

For those who still want to trick-or-treat:

  • Ensure all pedestrian traffic flows in the same direction
  • Only trick-or-treat with members of the same household
  • Wear a mask (see below) and maintain social distancing of at least six feet
  • Individually wrapped goodie bags or treats should be lined up for families to grab and go at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard
  • If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags

Tips for the safe use of masks:

  • A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask
  • A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose
  • Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe
  • Consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask