Illinois Department of Public Health
Issues Updated COVID-19 Halloween and Fall Festivities Guidance
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[October 16, 2021]
As we continue through Fall and head into the
holiday season, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is
issuing updated guidance to help people celebrate more safely as we
continue to battle COVID-19.
“Although we’re still in the pandemic, this Halloween
and Fall festivities season will look a little different than last
year thanks to the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines that are
readily available,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “However, we
must still take precautions as not everyone is vaccinated and a
vaccine for children younger than 12 year is not yet available.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your friends
and family, and your community, but it’s also important to use a
layered approach by wearing a mask indoors and limiting/avoiding
settings where physical distancing is not possible to help stop the
spread of the virus.”
Masks are currently required, per Executive Order, in all indoor
public locations in Illinois. A costume mask is NOT a substitute for
a well-fitting mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Wearing a
costume mask over a face covering to prevent the spread of COVID-19
is not recommended because it could make breathing more difficult.
Safer options include choosing a costume that does not come with a
costume mask, or find a costume that incorporates a face covering.
Trick-or-treating outdoors in small groups is best, but if outdoors
is not an option, there are steps people can take to make indoor
trick-or-treating safer. Those handing out tricks or treats indoors
should open doors and windows as much as possible to promote
increased ventilation and wear a mask. It is also important for
everyone handing out or receiving treats to wash their hands.
Alternatives to door-to-door trick-or-treating can include setting
up tables in a parking lot or other safe outdoor area where
individually wrapped treats can be set out or holding an outdoor
costume parade for kids along with a parent/guardian.
HAUNTED HOUSES, WOODS, WALKS
Open-air haunted houses are safer than an enclosed haunted house.
Masks are required to be worn in indoor haunted houses and the
number of people should be limited to reduce crowding. Other options
include visiting outdoor haunted woods or going on a haunted walk.
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PUMPKIN PATCHES, ORCHARD VISITS, FALL FESTIVALS
Try to visit pumpkin patches, orchards, and festivals at times
that aren’t as busy. You can also limit your exposure by moving away
from crowded areas and wearing a mask.
HALLOWEEN PARTIES AND SOCIAL GATHERINGS
Large gatherings with more people increase the risk of COVID-19
transmission compared to small gatherings, and outdoor parties are
safer than indoor parties. If indoors, mask must be worn in public
places, but can also be worn in private settings where physical
distancing is difficult. For indoor gatherings, try to increase air
flow by opening doors and windows.
DÍA LOS MUERTOS
Holding events and activities outdoors to honor deceased loved ones
for Día de los Muertos is safer than indoors. If gathering indoor,
increase air flow by opening windows and try to physically distance
as much as possible. Another option to celebrate and remember
deceased loved ones is to exchange traditional family recipes with
family or neighbors that they can make at home.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who
has COVID-19, do not participate in any Halloween or Fall events.
More information on Halloween and Fall Guidance is on the IDPH
[Illinois Office of Communication and