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Indianapolis, county health department release Halloween guidance

Posted at 4:45 PM, Oct 02, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — The city of Indianapolis and the Marion County Public Health Department on Friday announced guidance for celebrating Halloween amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a release from the city, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department will schedule extra patrols and enforcement in neighborhoods from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 31.

READ MORE | Halloween 2020: Central Indiana trick-or-treat times

The health department has issued the following guidance based on current public health orders and the relative risk levels of different activities.

The guidance bans in-person social gatherings or parties of more than 50 people.

The following Halloween are not recommended:

  • Close contact (less than 6 feet), door-to-door trick-or-treating or "trunk-or-treating" and leaving bowls of candy for others to grab because it is difficult to maintain proper social distancing.
  • Haunted Houses are not recommended unless they have entrance controls with sufficient monitors inside and at entrance/exit areas to make sure there is no lagging or congregating between participants who are members of different households.
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household is not recommended unless you are able to maintain two feet of distance from other parties and stay masked during the ride.
  • Attending indoor Halloween parties is not recommended, particularly if the party is held in a crowded or poorly ventilated area.

The health department said safer activities would include online parties/contests and drive-through events and car parades, dressing up homes and yards with Halloween-themed decorations, Halloween movie nights with your own household or at drive-in theaters or visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizers with 60 percent alcohol minimum before touching pumpkins or picking apples and where masks are worn, maintaining distance from other parties.

The health department also urged residents to continue to maintain social distancing and wearing masks, wash or sanitize hands often, clean frequently touched items regularly, avoid indoor spaces that don't allow for easy distancing, stay home if your are ill or have been in contact with someone who is ill and correctly wear face coverings.