CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Ohio Department of Health released a list of recommended best practices to ensure a lower risk of transmitting COVID-19 during Halloween activities.
Gov. Mike DeWine previously said he will leave it up to individual cities, towns, and communities to decide whether Halloween festivities can be held, urging parents, children, and others to follow the list of practices detailed by the state’s Department of Health.
- Canceling or avoiding hayrides and haunted houses
- Hold drive-through trick-or-treat events
- Do not hold large Halloween parties
- Sanitize candy wrappers before opening
“Halloween celebrations this year will not look like those in years past,” Gov. DeWine said during Thursday’s COVID-19 briefing. “Face coverings must be worn, social distancing should be practiced, and large groups should be avoided.”
In Middleburg Heights it was opening night for the “7 Floors of Hell” Haunted House. Just over an hour after opening Rodney Geffert, the President of Nigh Scream Entertainment told 19 News that they had reached capacity. So the parking lot was shut down to new visitors for one more than an as part of their safety precautions as the threat of COVID-19 remains a major concern.
But Geffert said in order to open this year they had to present an extensive safety plan to the local health department for approval, “It will be a different year than any other season that someone has been here. With the COVID virus it’s scary enough for all of us. So it’s not going to be an in your face scare this year. There will be a lot less actors in the houses. They will be at a distance behind plexi-glass. So they’re not going to be in your face this year.”
However, whether it’s a haunted house or going door to door for trick-or-treat many tell 19 News, they refused to let fear ruin their Halloween spirit.
Jessica Workman of Parma says, “Nothing will ever stop me from enjoying Halloween.”
Her mother, Donna Workman tells 19 News, “We need some normalcy and Halloween is our favorite. We’re obsessed.”
Lily Myers of Lakewood is 13 and just purchased her Halloween costume, “I feel like even with the COVID it shouldn’t ruin the holidays. I’m a child so I want to be able to experience that even if I have to keep it at a distance.”
Some communities have already allotted trick-or-treat times for Halloween, which falls on a Saturday in 2020. Others have canceled city-sponsored events due to coronavirus concerns.