FAIRFIELD – Fairfield will hold trick-or-treating on Halloween night, Oct. 31, from 5:30-8 p.m.
The time is 30 minutes shorter than last year, a decision that came after residents expressed concern the event was running too late.
As always, houses that wish to give out candy are asked to turn their porch light on.
Fairfield Police Chief David Thomas told the Fairfield City Council Monday that the Jefferson County Public Health Department had given the all-clear on trick-or-treating this year. Jefferson County Public Health Administrator Chris Estle said her office recommends trick-or-treaters observe 6 feet of social distancing and to avoid more than 15 minutes of continuous time in proximity to other people.
Fairfield City Administrator Aaron Kooiker said the city is not getting involved in making trick-or-treaters wear masks.
“A lot of them will be wearing masks anyway,” he said.
Kooiker said the city is simply reminding residents to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when trick-or-treating.
Jefferson County 4-H County Youth Coordinator Grace Davidson said the ISU Extension Council and Jefferson County 4-H are still discussing whether to hold their annual Trunk-or-Treat celebration at the fairgrounds, where adults decorate the trunks of cars and hand out candy to the youngsters dressed in their scariest costumes. She said a decision will be made at the extension council’s Oct. 1 meeting. Estle said she has recommended to the council not to hold the Trunk-or-Treat this year.
“When you have 500 kids come through in two or three hours, there’s no way to ensure social distancing,” Estle said.
The CDC’s website has a map of all the counties in the United States and has color-coded them according to the risk level involved in trick-or-treating based on each county’s COVID numbers. The safest is green, followed by yellow, orange and red, where trick-or-treating is not recommended.
Jefferson County is in the yellow category and shows it as averaging 0.4 new cases of COVID per day. In the yellow zone, trick-or-treating is still possible, but the CDC urges children to visit only those places that are following safety protocols, and it recommends party-goers wear face masks if they’re going to an indoor party.
The CDC has a list of suggested ways to celebrate Halloween for each color category. For the counties in the yellow category, the CDC says residents can toss candy to children standing 6 feet away, set up a neighborhood costume parade where the participants are maintaining social distancing, or decorate a path through a local park with glow sticks.