The city of Paducah is offering suggestions for Halloween trick-or-treating after reviewing state and federal safety guidelines in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Both the state of Kentucky and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have information available regarding Halloween safety.

First and foremost, those who are sick, have a fever, or are not feeling well should stay home. In addition, the city is asking citizens to limit their trick-or-treating from 5-8 p.m. on Halloween and to stay in their own neighborhoods.

“Halloween is such a fun holiday for all ages, but we want our citizens to be thoughtful about how to celebrate and consider making new, lower-risk traditions,” said Jim Arndt, city manager. “Halloween will look different this year, as social distancing and the wearing of facial coverings need to be incorporated into the evening’s plans.”

According to Arndt, “traditional” trick-or-treating and trunk-or-treating are not recommended due to their higher risk of exposure to COVID-19.

“But with adaptations, these activities can be modified to lower their risk. Furthermore, as you are planning celebrations, consider the location, duration and number of people at the gathering. Events that are outdoors with a small number of people pose a lower risk.”

Drivers on Halloween night are reminded to watch their speed in driving through neighborhoods and to watch for children at intersections, on medians, and at the edge of yards. Use extra caution when entering and exiting driveways.

Due to coronavirus concerns, the city has been in contact with residents from the Jefferson Street neighborhood regarding its traditional event that often attracts thousands of trick-or-treaters along several blocks.

To keep everyone safe during the pandemic by eliminating large social gatherings, the community is encouraged to remain in small groups within their own neighborhoods with their friends and family and not visit the Jefferson Street neighborhood.

In a Facebook post, the Jefferson Street Neighborhood offered: “We feel the health risk of our community is more important than risking one night. But we do not want to discourage our neighbors as we love the holiday just as much as you.

“This was not an easy decision for our street to agree on, but just like other communities who made the same decision, we want to ensure the safety of our children and allow them to be healthy while keeping our schools and businesses open.”

Jefferson Street will be holding a virtual Halloween costume contest in which people are able to share their children’s costumes via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JeffersonStreet Paducah/.

Jefferson Street residents will vote and award five mega pumpkins that are full of candy. Plus, Jefferson Street residents are decorating their homes and encouraging people to drive by the week of Halloween to view the decorations.

To read the CDC guidelines for holiday celebrations, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/ holidays.html. Visit https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19 for Kentucky’s Halloween guidelines.

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