Governor: Trick-or-treating will be left up to communities

Staff Writer
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Mineral Daily News-Tribune

By Liz Beavers

Tribune Managing Editor

KEYSER - Although some municipalities were waiting on direction from the Governor, trick-or-treating in West Virginia is being left up to each individual community.

Mineral County Health Department administrator A.Jay Root told the News Tribune Thursday that he had been in contact with Gov. Jim Justice’s office and they had “indicated that local communities should make their own decision related to trick-or-treating and other Halloween-related activities, using the guidance issued by the CDC for holiday celebrations.”

The Keyser City Council had said during their Sept. 23 meeting that they would await a decision from the Governor. Other Mineral County municipalities, however, including Elk Garden, Carpendale and Ridgeley, have already set their times for the Halloween tradition.

Keyser is expected to make a decision at their next meeting, scheduled for Oct. 14.

According to information released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Halloween-related activities were ranked as “higher risk,” “moderate risk,” and “lower risk.”

They are as follows:

Higher risk activities

Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

• 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 lined up in large parking lots

• Attending crowded costume parties held indoors

• Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming

• Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household

• Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors

• Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19

Moderate risk activities

• Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab

and go while continuing to social distance (such as 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 second before and

after preparing the bags.

• Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart

• Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6

feet apart

◦ A costume mask (such as for Halloween) 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 and doesn’t

leave gaps around the face.

◦ 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. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.

• Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people

can remain more than 6 feet apart

◦ If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of

spreading a respiratory virus.

• Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking

apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing

• Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart

◦ If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of

spreading a respiratory virus.

◦ Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.

Lower risk activities

These lower risk activities can be safe alternatives:

• Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them

• Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends

• Decorating your house, apartment, or living space

• Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while

they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance

• Having a virtual Halloween costume contest

• Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with

• Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather

than going house to house

Trick or Treat Schedule
As of Thursday, Oct. 8

Elk Garden 5-7 p.m. Oct. 31

Westernport 5-7 p.m. Oct. 31

Ridgeley 5-6:30 p.m. Oct. 31

Carpendale  5-6:30 p.m. Oct. 31