Mayor Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health Announce Plan to Safely Celebrate Halloween
City offers trick-or-treating guidance and previews ‘Halloweek’ activities to celebrate a Halloween unlike any other
CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced a plan to safely celebrate Halloween in Chicago that emphasizes social distancing and other safety precautions while allowing trick-or-treating and other fun activities throughout the week. The City’s ‘Halloweek’ guidelines will allow for a responsible celebration spread out over a full week to minimize congregation, while calling on both children and adults to abide by COVID safety precautions that are keeping all of us protected and limiting the spread of the virus. ‘Halloweek’ activities will include safe trick-or treating along with Halloween-themed programs from the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library and other City departments and partners.
“This year more than ever it is important to celebrate Halloween safely and responsibly,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “With these guidelines we are making sure that children and adults that want to enjoy Halloween can do so without putting themselves or their community at risk.”
The City is offering specific guidance on how to trick-or-treat safely, including advising that trick-or-treating groups remain limited to six people or less and that trick-or-treaters stay on the move without congregating – which means more houses visited and more candy for all! People passing out candy are asked to try to socially distance while doing so, perhaps by using a tube or pipe to drop candy into trick-or-treaters’ bags from a distance. A complete list of these guidelines, which are in line with those issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health earlier this week, can be found at ChicagoHalloweek.org.
“This Halloween we’re asking that people use their creativity and imagination not just on their costumes and decorations, but in how they safely celebrate,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “Maintain social distancing, keep to small groups and consider celebrating throughout the week to minimize congregation. We’ve made some good progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in recent weeks but don’t want to see that reversed, especially with cold weather coming and people spending more time indoors.”
Starting October 18th, residents can download a Halloweek toolkit complete with safety messaging and signage to let everyone know they are safely participating in Halloween this year. People passing out candy are asked to leave a light on or hang a Halloweek sign in their windows to let others know the residence is giving out candy safely. Adults looking to celebrate Halloween should remember that house parties large or small along with traditional haunted houses will be prohibited this year. However, the City has several planned events and activities for Halloweek:
- The Chicago Park District with support from Xfinity, the Chicago Police Department, the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Blackhawks and others will help residents celebrate ‘Halloweek on the Block’ with special surprise pop-ups on residential streets throughout Halloweek.
- The Chicago Park District with support from Xfinity and the Chicago Public Library will also offer special virtual and in-person Halloween-themed programs during Halloweek.
- Blommer Chocolate Company is creating 10,000 Halloween bags filled with candy and other goodies to help Chicagoans celebrate safely, which will be distributed throughout Halloweek. There will also be “golden tickets” hidden amongst the bags. Winners will receive an exclusive 10 lb. Blommer Chocolate bar!
- Chicago businesses and organizations are asked to visit ChicagoHalloweek.org to register their COVID-safe Halloween activities. Starting on October 18th, the website will feature a searchable list of all Halloweek programming happening across the city.
Additional Halloweek details will be announced in the coming weeks - visit ChicagoHalloweek.org to stay updated!
The Halloweek activities are part of the City’s plan to safely and thoughtfully re-open as COVID-19 metrics have improved over the past month, including a declining number of new daily cases, a test positivity rate now below 5% and the lowest rates of hospitalization and death in months. Earlier this week, Mayor Lightfoot was joined by CDPH, the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) and community partners to announce an easing of certain restrictions on businesses.
Effective today, new guidelines for businesses are in effect expanding indoor capacity to 40% for certain businesses, reopening bars for indoor service, allowing restaurants and bars to serve alcohol until 1:00 am, increasing maximum group sizes for fitness classes and after-school programming and allowing personal services that require the removal of masks.