The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Americans to skip trick-or-treating, but police in Greenfield have decided to move forward with the Halloween tradition anyway.
The police chief in Greenfield, Jeff Rasche, says he thinks that the people in his area could take part in holiday festivities without causing an outbreak. Rasche says he decided to move forward with trick-or-treating before the CDC released its decision on the matter but is sticking with his decision for now.
On Tuesday the CDC posted guidelines on its website labeling traditional trick-or-treating and other common Halloween celebrations “high risk” this year. Instead, they suggested that people leave pre-made goodie bags on their front porch for kids to get rather than handing out candy themselves or leaving out a bowl for kids to dig through.
These are the activities the CDC said to avoid to help prevent the spread of coronavirus:
-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 judgment 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.
According to the Indiana State Department of Health, Hancock County has reported more than 900 COVID-19 cases with nearly 16,000 people tested.
Rasche also said that he spoke with the mayor and the Hancock County Health Department about his decision. He said that he has been in contact with other officers in the surrounding area and he is under the impression that most, if not all of them, will also be moving forward with similar trick-or-treating plans. He says he is still encouraging people to wear an actual face mask even if they’re in a costume.
“We are not going to encourage large groups to be out trick-or-treating together or large groups going to people’s houses. You know, maintain social distancing,” Rasche said.
Greenfield plans to release more guidelines for families as Halloween nears.