Updated: Oct 2, 2020
Molly Morrison of Silverton, Oregon writes, "Curious mom here, how many people are still doing trick-or-treating this year? Do you think enough houses will be passing out candy to justify getting costumes and kids' hopes up?"
Kyle Palmer, the Mayor of Silverton, is uncertain how the community will get past the fear of kids bringing COVID to residents' doorsteps, especially those who are more susceptible to the disease.
"Do parents want their kids to accept a piece of candy from a person that they don't know. They don't know who touched it, and they don't know if that person is sick. And do households what a stream of young, germ-carrying people coming to their doorstep."
Interview with Silverton, Mayor, Kyle Palmer: Created by Derek Bratton
According to the Center for Disease Control, activities like trick-or-treating are considered high-risk activities. The CDC states, "Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door." is considered to be "high-risk." But the CDC does consider "One-way trick or treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance" a moderate-risk activity.
Madelynn Layne brought up an idea of hanging bags of candy from the neighborhood trees where kids can pull the wrapped bags of candy down, which would eliminate the "just take one" bowl and follow the CDC guidelines for "moderate risk activities."
Palmer responded, "That is a really good idea. I have the perfect yard for that, actually. This is something we can throw into the mix, but it (Halloween) is also sometimes the first big rain of the season."
Mellissa Lashley, a mother of three, plans to take her kids trick-or-treating and feels that "one-way" trick-or-treating an acceptable way to take her kids out and still experience Halloween while keeping others who may be susceptible to the disease safe.
Lashley says, "I think I can be behind that (one-way trick-or-treating). I think for sure, that can be an acceptable medium to find the middle ground. The kids will still have their memory and experiences and not have it be risky for elderly people or people with preexisting conditions."
As of September 17, 2020, The Children's Hospital Association reports the state of Oregon's children (ages 0-19) population is 965,480 from a 2019 Census. Out of the 965,480 children in the state, 4,463 have tested positive for COVID-19, children represent 15% of all state cases. Oregon has 0 reported deaths of children from COVID-19.
Lashley continues to say, "Base on the statistics, kids are very low risk. Kids just need to be kids and enjoy what holidays they have left."
The CDC recommends if a person plans to participate in moderate risk actives such as "one-way" trick-or-treating, be sure the candies are individually wrapped and for that person to wash their hands before handling the candy when creating the goodie bags.