Trick or treating will be going forward in Oregon during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Oregon City Council held a discussion on Halloween plans Tuesday and decided it will take place on Saturday, Oct. 31 from 4-6 p.m. The state and Ogle County Health Department have not yet provided guidelines and may not ahead of the holiday.
The thought process behind the time frame was to cut down the hours of potential exposure and keep it during daylight hours to make social distancing easier.
“At this point without any direction from the state, we need to make a local decision on what we want to do for Halloween,” City Administrator Darin DeHaan said. “Parents are asking. Also we’d put as good of guidelines we can out. We don’t want anyone sick or with symptoms putting out candy. We suggest not handing out open things like fruit so people can wash their hands before opening it.”
The city felt it was time to make a local decision without state guidance. There is a possibility the Governor could shut it down, DeHaan said.
“Anyone that is not comfortable, we suggest don’t turn your lights on,” DeHaan said. “But we felt comfortable doing it.”
Commissioner Terry Schuster said he did not want any family to feel obligated to answer the door if they’re not comfortable exposing themselves to others. He asked if people will be required to wear masks.
Public Health Commissioner Kurt Wilson said the expectation is that people on the street will wear masks and social distance. He’d also like to see people handing out candy at their doors wearing masks.
“And if you want to put a bowl of candy out and say, ‘Go for it,’ what a wonderful way to do it,” Mayor Ken Williams said. “It will be subject to the state or county health department if they come out with something. No one has to get involved if they don’t want to.”