The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 | village@oak-park.us

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Halloween in Oak Park

Trick-or-treating considered high-risk activity

With COVID-19 surging in the community, trick-or-treating is considered a high-risk activity. But for those who still wish to participate, the Oak Park Public Health Department is offering guidelines and recommendations on how to safely celebrate the holiday this year.

The Village is following the lead of the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which have published guidelines to help families make decisions about how they will celebrate Halloween this year.

These local, state and federal guidelines share a common theme – reducing close contact with those outside of a person's household, which officials say is essential to reducing the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19.
 

Low-risk activities recommended

Residents are encouraged to celebrate with lower-risk activities, such as pumpkin carving with members of their own household or outdoors at a safe distance with friends. Virtual costume parties, holiday decorating and outdoor Halloween movie nights are other recommended options.

Guidelines for trick-or-treaters

Official trick-or-treating hours in Oak Park are 1 to 5:30 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 31, 2020 as determind by the Village Board. The earlier hours are intended to make it easier for trick-or-treaters to see signs homeowners may post to make clear if they are offering candy. If you intend to allow your children to trick-or-treat, please follow these guidelines:

  • Wear a cloth mask that covers your nose and mouth – a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth face covering
  • Maintain at least a six-foot distance from trick-or-treaters outside of your household
  • Wash your hands before and after trick-or-treating
  • Bring hand sanitizer to use before, during and after trick or treating
  • Limit the number of houses you visit
  • Trick or treat only during permitted hours
  • Don’t knock on doors with signs indicating a home is not participating this year
  • Stay home if you're sick or if you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19

Guidelines for households
  • Place individual goodie bags in a designated location, such as on their porch, front yard or stoop for trick-or-treaters to pick up and go while continuing to social distance.
  • Do not to place candy in communal bowls, which could encourage congregating and contact with others.
  • Those preparing goodie bags should wash their hands before and after preparing bags.

Opting out of trick-or-treating

Households not participating in trick-or-treat are encouraged to turn off their lights or post a sign on their door to discourage unwanted visits.

Trick-or-treaters are asked to respect that not everyone is comfortable participating in Halloween festivities, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conversely, households that are accepting trick-or-treaters can post a sign indicating trick-or-treaters are welcome. 

 

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Costume guidance

Costumes that allow cloth face coverings and hand hygiene to be performed regularly are recommended. A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth face covering, and should not be worn over a face covering.

Those in costume should consider wearing a Halloween-themed cloth face covering rather than a costume mask.

Residents are also advised to avoid masks and costumes that limit or obstruct visibility. Those out after dark should fasten costumes with reflective tape and consider carrying a glow stick.

Halloween gatherings

Those with underlying health conditions are strongly encouraged to stay home during Halloween festivities and gatherings. In addition, residents are encouraged to...

  • Consider hosting gatherings outdoors
  • Avoid indoor parties
  • Keep guests to a minimum – state public health guidelines limit gatherings to no more than 50 people
  • Require guests to wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth when a six-foot distance from others cannot be maintained
  • Tell guests to stay home if they are sick

General Halloween safety tips

Parents are urged to accompany young children, especially after dark, and inspect all treats. Other safety tips include:

  • Use make-up instead of masks
  • Choose flame-retardant costumes
  • Wear light-colored clothing at night or add reflective tape to dark colored costumes
  • Give and accept only wrapped and packaged candy
  • Go out in daylight and carry a flashlight in case of delay
  • Stay within your neighborhood and visit only homes you know

 

These guidelines and recommendations are subject to change based on the latest public health data, Charlie said. If local COVID-19 data changes significantly over the next few weeks, guidelines may be revised.

For the latest information on COVID-19 in Oak Park, visit www.oak-park.us/covid19.

For more information on trick-or-treating hours, call 708.358.5670 or email clerk@oak-park.us. For safety information, call 708.386.3800, or email fire@oak-park.us or police@oak-park.us.