City of York and City of York Bureau of Health Release Statement on Trick or Treat Activities

The City of York and City of York Bureau of Health wish to notify residents about Halloween activities for 2020.  
Due to the Pennsylvania Department of Health and CDC COVID-19 guidelines on large gatherings, the City of York discourages any “trunk or treat” events that may typically be held in churches, gymnasiums, or parking lots throughout the city.  
The CDC has identified traditional trick or treating,where treats are handed to children going doortodoor, as a “high risk” activity to be avoided. As such, if residents wish to participate in trick or treat on October 31st from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, it is recommended that the guidelines outlined by the City of York Bureau of Health and CDCare followed. Over the last several years, trick or treat has not been an official event organized by the City of York.

If residents choose to participate in trick or treat we ask that they take the following precautions based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and City of York Bureau of Health:

  • Individuals under stay-at-home order or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 should not participate in trick or treat activities.
  • “One way” trick or treating, where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway, sidewalk, or yard), is STRONGLY recommended.
  • If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.
  • Participating residents should turn on their porch or door light to indicate they are participating in trick or treat.
  • Residents should consider leaving pre-packaged treats outside in a visible and lit location rather than handing treats directly to children.
  • If you choose to greet trick or treaters, please practice social distancing, wear masks, and use hand sanitizer.
  • Trick or treaters should walk the neighborhood only in family groups and should practice social distancing on sidewalks and when approaching houses.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community we strongly encourage these lower risk activities as an alternative to trick or treat:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house
  • Enjoying a City of York Park during daylight and observing fall leaves

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