VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — COVID-19 has forced new Halloween guidelines across Hampton Roads.
Health officials say the traditional festivities carry new health risks this year.
Several cities are following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health's risk categories. For example, trick-or-treating in big groups is considered high risk. A medium-risk is grab-and-go candy tables or pre-made candy bags.
Virtual costume contests or socially distant scavenger hunts are low-risk activities.
The pandemic has forced some traditional events to stop in Hampton Roads. In Hampton, Trunk or Treat parties are not allowed. Norfolk announced they're holding one on October 24, 2020. In Newport News, families can get their candy in a few Halloween day drive-thru gatherings:
- Denbigh Community Center, 15198 Warwick Blvd. from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
- Brittingham-Midtown Community Center, 570 McLawhorne Dr. from 2 p.m.- 4 p.m.
- Doris Miller Community Center, 2814 Wickham Ave. from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
The City of Suffolk is also hosting a few Halloween celebrations, including drive-thru events:
- Saturday, October 17, 2020, 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., at the Creekside Recreation Center, 1000 Bennetts Creek Park Road
- Saturday, October 24, 2020, 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., at the Whaleyville Recreation Center, 132 Robertson Street
- Saturday, October 31, 2020, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the East Suffolk Recreation Center, 134 S. Sixth Street
The City of Chesapeake added some suggestions for safely trick-or-treating this year, in addition to the CDC guidelines. For example, having children wait until it's their turn before allowing them to go the door and cleaning their hands between each stop.
As a reminder, trick-or-treating is not banned, but most of the cities say trick-or-treaters should be 12 years old or younger.