TRENTON, New Jersey -- The New Jersey Department of Health released guidance for local officials, schools, and outside organizations and businesses to help ensure a safe Halloween.
The health department advises everyone to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth. A costume mask does not count because it does not provide the necessary level of protection.
"Uneasy is a word I'd use," said Matt Anderson, of Haddon Township. "We're not quite sure what we're doing just yet. We're asking our neighbors."
The guidance also strongly encourages instead of placing treats directly in the bags of trick or treaters or having communal bowls where hands would have to reach into, that the treats be arranged in such a way they can be quickly and safely accessed without multiple pieces being touched.
However, if you are handing out candy please limit interaction or contact with trick or treaters wear a mask when individuals come to the door and regularly wash your hands and he can be given out to be commercially packaged and non-perishable.
"One of the ideas we kicked around is almost like kebabs on a grill but skewers with the candy on them in the ground," explained Jason Fiorentino, of Cherry Hill. "So, if they feel uncomfortable from taking something from someone's hand or being too close."
All Halloween activities should be outdoors as the biggest threat of spread is indoors, officials said.
Follow the outdoor gatherings limitations in effect at the time and design the event in a long line rather than a circle to ensure social and physical distancing. Consider having a sign for times or multiple shifts to minimize crowding.
Guidance will soon be released on hayrides and corn mazes.
"We know that for communities Halloween is a real tradition and we want to make sure everyone has the chance to enjoy Halloween but went want everyone to do it safely and responsibly," Governor Murphy said.
As a reminder, no one should participate in these activities, if they are a household member, have a known exposure to COVID-19 have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have not yet met the criteria for discontinuing isolation or were told to quarantine.