WATERLOO, Iowa – Iowa’s eighth-largest city is asking its citizens to skip an annual Halloween tradition due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, officials announced on Monday.
The city of Waterloo, citing guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that its residents should not participate in door-to-door trick-or-treating in 2020. The federal agency considers that activity, along with parking lot-based “trunk-or-treat” gatherings, indoor costume parties, haunted houses, and hayrides, as high risk for spreading COVID-19.
Instead, city officials said that citizens could try other activities that are lower risk. They recommended having treat bags available away from the home that kids can grab or a “reverse trick-or-treat” where treat bags are dropped off at neighbors’ homes as ways to still share in the candy-related parts of the holiday. A neighborhood trunk-or-treat, with individual cars in driveways instead of grouped in a parking lot, was another option mentioned.
A contactless scavenger hunt in the neighborhood or a virtual Halloween party were also suggested as safer activities.