The City of West Branch has received inquiries about Halloween taking place this year in light of Covid-19.
Halloween is not a City event but a Nationally recognized holiday. The City does announce suggested hours of trick or treating but those are only set as a way to help keep some sort of order. The City has no legal authority to cancel Halloween nor the ability to the restrict the movement of residents. Participating in Trick or Treating is a parent or individuals’ decision whether that is those that allow their children to go door to door or those who choose to hand out candy. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic still a concern, the City spent a considerable amount of time researching and discussing the best course of action for Halloween including recommendations from the Health Department and CDC. We encourage those that would like to participate in Halloween to still practice safety measures such as wearing masks (no pun intended), social distancing, and not participating in large heavily attended parties. While traditional trick-or-treating, trunk-or-treating, or large parties are at a higher risk, the CDC says there are other options.
The CDC says participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags that are lined up for families to grab while practicing social distancing is only a moderate risk. Socially distanced costume parties present a lower risk, while small, costumed outdoor gatherings with household units present the lowest risk.
We understand that many may choose not to participate this year and the message the City would like to pass onto the community is not that Halloween is canceled this year, it's that we have to do Halloween a little bit differently this year to be safer.
To view recommendations from the Health Department, click HERE.