The state announced Halloween COVID-19 guidance encouraging social distancing while trick-or-treating, and the governor took questions in a virtual news conference Wednesday.
Those passing out candy should maintain six feet from trick-or-treaters and wear proper face coverings, according to the guidance, and trick-or-treating should be done in groups with household members only.
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), said households should consider leaving individually wrapped candy on a table in driveways or in front of walkways to allow for social distancing
“For anyone wearing a costume–whether a child or an adult–a costume mask is not a substitute for face covering,” Ezike said. “If face coverings are worn under the costume mask, please ensure that this does not create any breathing problems, and if it does, don't discard your face covering. Put the costume mask aside.”
Indoor haunted houses are not allowed, per Phase 4 state guidance, and IDPH suggested open-air alternatives such as one-way haunted forests or haunted walks where social distancing can be maintained.
At pumpkin patches, face coverings should be worn and hands sanitized before handling pumpkins. On hayrides, parties should be spaced six feet apart and they should not exceed 50 percent capacity.
Also per Phase 4 guidelines, gatherings of more than 50 people or 50 percent or more of a building’s maximum occupancy are prohibited, including for Halloween parties.
Locally, the Montgomery County Health Department reported 22 new cases so far this week for a positivity rate of 3.4 percent since Sunday and a total of 375 cases since the pandemic began; 31 tests remain pending.
As of Wednesday, Sept. 30, the Illinois Department of Corrections reported 62 coronavirus cases among staff at Graham Correctional Center in Hillsboro with 48 of those recovered, and 21 cases among inmates with three recovered.