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Coronavirus In Ohio: Health Department Discourages Traditional Trick-Or-Treating

The Ohio Department of Health will allow trick-or-treating this year, but recommends face masks and social distancing.
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The Ohio Department of Health will allow trick-or-treating this year, but recommends face masks and social distancing.

No hayrides, haunted houses or Halloween parties should be held this year, the Ohio Department of Health urged in its latest coronavirus guidelines.

“It is strongly recommended that Ohioans exercise caution when deciding to participate in trick-or-treating and events that put them in close contact with people outside their households,” said the recommendations from interim Health Director Lance Himes.

The guidelines released Friday are non-binding recommendations, rather than an order. While people should avoid some traditional festivities and parties that include more than 10 people, Dan Tierney with Gov. Mike DeWine’s office says trick-or-treating is generally OK.

“Trick-or-treat can be accomplished safely with only a few minor modifications," Tierney says.

Those modifications include wearing masks, sanitizing surfaces and maintaining social distance.

The Ohio Department of Health also says communities should consider alternatives such as drive-through events with children in cars collecting treats from individuals spaced at least six feet apart, or decorating houses and hiding treats outside.

DeWine has said that decisions to allow trick-or-treating this year will be up to local communities. Some in Ohio have already canceled trick-or-treating, while other municipalities are waiting to make decisions closer to the end of October.