SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -Despite the pandemic, some people on the Suncoast plan on getting their candy the traditional way this Halloween.
“We’re going to get dressed up as a couple of hippies and go around the neighborhood trick or treating with my family,” said Sarasota County resident Trinity Welch.
Sarasota County resident Rachel Filson, who lives near Arlington Park, said she expects many kids at her door.
“There’s actually a treat map on the app Nextdoor so I’ve noticed a lot of people have been adding their houses on to the treat map and we’ve had a lot of positive comments there. I think we’re still going to have a good turn out this year,” Filson said.
But health professionals are urging people to continue with COVID-19 preventive measures. Both those trick or treating and people handing out candy are encouraged to wear face masks.
“You know just make it part of your costume. Don’t feel like you’ve got to dress it up and stick something over it. Make it part of your costume. Maybe put marker on it or do something to decorate it a little bit to make it part of your costume,” said Manatee County’s Florida Department of Health Communications Director, Christopher Tittel.
People trick or treating should also remember to keep their hands clean.
“Bringing hand sanitizer along when trick or treating is a good idea and you want to make sure that that hand sanitizer has at least 60% alcohol content too it so it’s effective,” said Tittel.
But before digging into the candy people are recommended to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds. Health department officials hope following these safety guidelines will allow people to enjoy the holiday, while preventing a spike in new COVID cases.
“Our best defense though in all of this is wear your face mask. Washing hands regularly, social distancing, and disinfecting surfaces. If you apply those tips to anything related to Halloween then your assured you’re doing your best to make sure you and more importantly the people around you are safe,” said Tittel.
There are other ways kids can have fun without trick or treating. The CCD recommends activities like having an at home scavenger hunt or a virtual costume contest.