Parents and Communities Explore Safe Halloween Options Amid COVID-19

Deciding to go door-to-door is creating a dilemma for treat seekers and homeowners.

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The spirit of Halloween is alive and well, costumes and apparel continue to sell and houses remain decorated. Halloween itself, though, may take on a different look this year.

Earlier this month, the Department of Public Health described traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating as a high-risk activity and warned against it. Although, it has not been outwardly banned; going door-to-door is now a personal decision.

John Dean of Colchester has four children and said they will do the same as every year but with caution.

“We are gonna have masks on the kids. Try to keep our distance when the kids get bunched up in front of houses and stuff,” Dean said.

The comfort level, though, varies among parents we spoke with.

“I think it’s a bad idea, simply because of COVID. Whatever they’re gonna get from the people that they go to could be putting it on them,” said Nick Laperuta of New Britain.

While Governor Ned Lamont has urged caution, he’s been careful pointing out Halloween is not cancelled. He said anyone who is not comfortable entertaining trick or treaters should turn off their front door light.

The DPH said if you are going to hand out candy to do so by placing it in a large bowl outside your door as grab-and-go items. They also advise looking for alternative ways to celebrate.

Many Connecticut communities are providing alternatives. New Britain will replace its traditional downtown activities with a drive-thru Halloween experience called “HalloWheels.” While staying in cars, people will drive around New Britain Bees Stadium stopping at various “treat stations” where candy will be prebagged.

New Britain has partnered with Best Buddies of CT to create this event. People can participate in one of two ways: virtually through Facebook Live or in-person at New Britain Bees Stadium from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 31. Preregistration is required.

“At least it’s something,” said Lisa Velilla. “It’s for the kids. So, if there’s any way we can still do it with all the precautions, I say why not?”

Berlin will not be hosting its traditional Monster Bash, but multiple trunk-or-treat events are scheduled, including one hosted by the police department’s DARE officers. Strict rules will be enforced to limit people outside of their cars.

“We’re going to be regulating when people get out of their cars and how many people go into the lot where the people are handing out the candy,” said Berlin Police DARE Program Coordinator Brandon Lagueux.

In New Haven, the city is recommending against traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating. The city is also not supporting trunk-or-treat events. Instead, they are recommending several safe alternatives like online parties, car parades and Halloween movie nights.

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