Halloween is a little bit special this year: For the first time in five years — and for the last time in six years — it falls on a Saturday. That means Scott County’s young ghosts and goblins will have all day to get into their costumes and the sugar-infused spirit of Halloween before heading out for the evening’s festivities.
Of course, Halloween in 2020 is also different: This is the year of coronavirus, and all of the precautions that are being taken have made this the question at the forefront of many of the minds of those young ghosts’ and goblins’ mothers and fathers: Is trick-or-treating going to actually take place this year?
The answer is yes. Trick-or-treating will proceed as normal, without interruption. Neither Scott County nor its municipalities have taken any measures to impede on trick-or-treating.
“Although the county does not regulate or control Halloween trick-or-treating, I highly recommend that citizens follow the Health Department guidelines,” said Scott County Mayor Jeff Tibbals. “If you do decide to venture out Saturday afternoon or evening, please only visit the homes of family and close friends where you know — to the best of your knowledge — the home is Covid-free.”
While last weekend’s Fall on the Mall festival was canceled at the urging of the local health department, there are several church-sponsored trunk-or-treat events that are scheduled for Saturday evening. Among them are Bethlehem Baptist Church in Oneida from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., First Baptist Church of Oneida from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., First Baptist Church of Robbins from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., New Haven Baptist Church beginning at 5:30 p.m., Helenwood Baptist Church from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Black Creek Crossroads Baptist Church from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Black Creek United Baptist Church from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Concord Missionary Baptist Church from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Macedonia Christian Center, beginning at 6 p.m.
The Scott County Health Department guidelines referred to by Mayor Tibbals include the following:
• Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters;
• Give out treats outdoors, if possible;
• Set up a station with individually bagged treats;
• Wash hands before handling treats;
• Wear a mask, and remember that a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask;
• Do not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask, as it makes breathing more difficult; parents can consider making a mask to match their children’s costume;
• Masks should not be worn by children under the age of two or by anyone who has trouble breathing;
• Stay at least six feet away from others who do not live with you;
• Take hand sanitizer with you and use it after touching objects; and,
• Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home and before you eat any treats.