Halloween is still on in New Jersey … for now
A year without Halloween? That's a scary thought New Jerseyans can put side, for now.
A Los Angeles County initially banned trick-or-treating for 2020 because of concerns it could help to spread the novel coronavirus, but has since changed its ban to a recommendation against the holiday tradition.
"It can be very difficult to maintain proper social distancing on porches and at front doors, ensure that everyone answering or coming to the door is appropriately masked to prevent disease spread, and because sharing food is risky," the county wrote in a statement. It also warned against "trunk-or-treat" activities, where community members gather for trick-or-treating in one place, because of crowding.
New Jersey isn't planning to follow suit, according to Gov. Phil Murphy.
During an event in Paterson on Tuesday Murphy told NJ.com that while the holiday will not be normal “as far as this moment in time, Halloween’s still on in New Jersey."
The governor anticipated that protocols would like be in place and activity organizers would have to do things "very carefully."
Public health officials say young children seem considerably less likely than adults to suffer serious symptoms from the novel coronavirus, and may not be as prone to spreading it. Still, debate has raged in school districts across the state has officials set plans for school reopenings, with many opting to go entirely remote for the beginning of the school year.
It is not unprecedented for a New Jersey governor to postpone trick-or treating. Gov. Chris Christie postponed trick-or -reating by a week with an executive order after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. He cited dangerous conditions as damage from the storm still being sorted out.
Toms River canceled its annual Halloween parade citing concerns about the large crowd. The parade was also canceled in 2012.