Connecticut DPH: Halloween Will Look Different This Year

On Thursday the Connecticut Dept of Health issued guidance celebrating Halloween during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. They ask residents not to leave their homes for any Halloween activity.

They also asked that people not pass out Halloween candy if they are ill or have traveled to one of the states listed on the Connecticut travel advisory between October 16th and October 30th (i.e. 14 days before Halloween).

Halloween display at Sophia’s costume shop on Liberty Way. Photo: Leslie Yager

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic requires all of us to take steps to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities safe and healthy: wear our masks, wash our hands frequently, and maintain social distancing. As a result, we will need to celebrate many fall traditions differently this year, including Halloween. Traditional Halloween activities carry a high risk for spreading COVID-19, but we can reduce that risk significantly by organizing and participating in fun, lower or moderate risk alternatives,” DPH said in their statement.

In lieu of in-person house parties, Dept of Health suggests hosting a virtual Halloween costume contest or drive-by Halloween event, house decorating contest, candy scavenger hunt at homes with your household members or family Halloween movie night.

GEMS is taking reservations for their traveling “ghoulish” van!

GEMS “Ghoulish Crew” to Distribute Halloween Treats in Their “Eerie Carriage”

Also, the Town of Greenwich is sponsoring a pumpkin decorating contest!

Greenwich Announces Pumpkin Decorating Contest

What to avoid?

  • Large parties that exceed 25 people indoors or 150 people outdoors
  • Hosting an indoor party that exceeds 25 people indoors or 150 people outdoors can result in a fine of $500
  • Attending a party that exceed attendance rules can result in a fine of $250
  • Large Halloween-themed parades where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Indoor haunted houses where people may be crowded together and screaming
  • Hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
  • Traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door (See Trick or Treating tips below)
  • Trunk-or-treat events where cars gather in a large parking lot and allow children to move from car to car to collect candy.

Dept of Health said traditional trick-or-treating is a high risk activity. Both the CDC and CT DPH recommend participating in one-way trick-or-treating where goodie bags or a large bowl of candy are placed outside of the home for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance. If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.

For people who choose to hand out candy, they say before answering the door, make sure a face mask covers both nose and mouth, and wash or sanitize hands before answering the door. Remain six feet from the Trick-or-Treater. Place the candy inside the child’s bag for them instead of having them take it from the bowl themselves. Homes providing candy may set up hand sanitizer stations outside or parents/guardians can pack a travel bottle of their own.