PLANO – More information about trick-or-treating in Plano is expected to be announced during a City Council meeting next month.
Plano Mayor Bob Hausler said city officials have started fielding those questions about what trick-or-treating may look like for the city this year. He said the plan is for the city to follow health and safety guidelines and to follow whatever recommendations Kendall County Health Department may have, whenever those are released.
Hausler said the thought is that hours would be extended, since the holiday falls on a Saturday this year. He said the plan is for the hours to start sooner than usual for sure.
“We’ll encourage social distancing that way,” Hausler said.
Hausler said city officials also will be urging people to wear masks and to keep their distance from others if they do participate in trick-or-treating. He said he would encourage residents to also not gather in large groups.
“I also think that the residents who want to participate [should] have a way to pass out candy ... that doesn’t require hand to hand contact and handing out candy in the traditional way,” he said.
Hausler said he will make announcement about the city's trick-or-treating plan at the first City Council meeting scheduled in October, or 6 p.m. Oct. 12, at City Hall, 17 E. Main St.
Hausler said that, because of the pandemic, everything changes week by week and sometimes day by day. He said he wants residents to keep that in mind for trick-or-treating this year as well.
“So just keep informed, and we will do the same and try to let everybody know what our plans are,” Hausler said.
Typically, trick or treat hours within the city have been between 5 and 8 p.m., or thereabouts, according to Hausler.
The Centers for Disease Control on Tuesday, Sept. 22 released pandemic-related health and safety guidance for Halloween. Among the provided guidance are recommendations to not attend crowded indoor parties, parades, hayrides or haunted houses where social distancing cannot occur and people would be among others whom they do not live with.
The CDC is considering traditional trick-or-treating a higher risk activity, with treats typically being handed to children going door to door. A lower risk alternative includes preparing individually wrapped goodie bags and lining them up at the end of a driveway or the edge of a yard for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance, according to the agency.
"If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags," the agency said in the guidance.
The CDC also said costume masks are not a substitute for regular cloth masks but urged people to not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it could be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. The agency said people could just wear a Halloween-themed cloth mask with their costumes.
The CDC said haunted forests are lower risk as long as pedestrian traffic is one-way. The agency is urging people to consider other safer alternatives to celebrate the holiday, including having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart.
"If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised," according to the agency. "The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus."