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Peoria To Allow Trick-Or-Treating, But That's Not Necessarily An Endorsement, Either

Peoria Police Chief Loren Marion III announces trick-or-treating hours and health recommendations for Halloween.
Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio
Peoria Police Chief Loren Marion III announces trick-or-treating hours and health recommendations for Halloween.

Trick-or-treating will be allowed in Peoria on Halloween, but that doesn't necessarily mean officials are recommending it.

Peoria Police Chief Loren Marion III said trick-or-treating will be allowed from 5 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 31.

"If you do decide to go trick-or-treating, we highly recommend you do it in a safe manner," Marion said on Thursday.

The Illinois Department of Public Health released its COVID-19 Halloween safety guidance on Wednesday.

Peoria City/County Health Department Administrator Monica Hendrickson said those guidelines seek to strike a balance for those who choose to go out on Halloween.

"The Illinois Department of Public Health, which released guidance along with the CDC, that are trying to do that balancing that I think people are asking for," she said. "Which I think is, how can we get back to some of our routines, some of those things that give us mental health happiness, as well. But also, putting those stipulations in that will, in totality, help decrease risk."

Marion recommends reducing physical contact by residents setting out candy spread apart on a table in their driveways and monitoring it, instead of offering candy at the door.

For those who are going up to doors, Marion said trick-or-treaters should socially distance as much as possible, wear their cloth masks, and carry hand sanitizer.

"Your costume face mask does not count," said Hendrickson. "We want you to wear your face covering correctly."

Both Marion and Hendrickson also recommended trick-or-treating only with your immediate household.

"When we say household, we literally mean the people who live in your same household as you," she said. "If they don't live in the same address as you, they are not your household."

Hendrickson said these measures are necessary to prevent Halloween from becoming a "super-spreader" COVID-19 event.

East Peoria also recently announced it will allow trick-or treating on Oct. 31.

"People that choose to do it, you can do it. Those that don't, turn out your lights, and people aren't going to judge you for that, either. But I think it's important for kids to have the opportunity to get out," East Peoria Mayor John Kahl said at the Sept. 16 council meeting.

Not every Halloween tradition is on this year, however. The Peoria Police Department's annual Halloween Open House is canceled due to COVID restrictions on indoor gatherings. About 1,400 people attend the event, on average.

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Tim Shelley is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.