Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, has said there will be no ban on Halloween trick-or-treaters in NY State and he will let New York families decide how to celebrate this year, according to local media.
The development comes after latest consumer data from the National Confectioners Association (NCA) shows that Halloween chocolate and candy sales are up this year by 13% for the four week period ending September 6 versus the same period in 2019.
This growth is driven by Halloween chocolate, which is up 25.3%, the NCA reports.
“The grocery channel is a key driver for the growth of Halloween chocolate and candy sales as consumer behaviors continue to evolve during the pandemic and more people shop at grocery stores more often. In the grocery channel alone, Halloween chocolate and candy sales are up 17.1%,” a spokesperson said.
The NCA also said its research from the beginning of this month has found 80% of people believe they will find creative and safe ways to celebrate the Halloween season this year. This is up from 63% two months earlier in July.
Governor Cuomo’s statement is added to a growing wave of approval and support for a safe and creative Halloween 2020 – including public health experts, community leaders, newspaper editorial boards and columnists who say “that we can prioritize safety and still have a little fun this fall with Halloween celebrations that last all October long”, according to the NCA.
“I would not ban trick-or-treaters going door to door. I don’t think that’s appropriate. You have neighbors – if you want to go knock on your neighbor’s door, God bless you. I’m not going to tell you not to. If you want to go for a walk with your child through the neighborhood, I’m not going to tell you you can’t take your child through the neighborhood. I’m not going to do that. I’ll give you my advice and guidance, and then you’ll make the decision about what you do that night,” said governor Cuomo.
Taking the guess work out of Halloween
Dr Stephen Ostroff, who served as the FDA’s deputy commissioner and chief scientist and as the deputy director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases, has been working with the NCA to help Americans take the guesswork out of Halloween 2020.
His five recommendations include:
1. Halloween is traditionally an outdoor holiday and the one time of the year when kids want to wear a mask. This is the year to get creative with face coverings. This is not the year to buck tradition by holding large indoor events, including parties. After all, proper ventilation and airflow are rarely an issue when outside. Work with your child to think of ways to integrate clever, while still protective, face coverings into their Halloween costume. Consider holding a small outdoor gathering of children with required physical distancing in the yard or elsewhere in the neighborhood. Even a small pageant or parade can be held safely outdoors if six feet of physical distancing is maintained.
2. Physical distancing is just as important during Halloween as it is during the rest of the year to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean kids have to be socially distant if they can stay at least six feet apart.
3. Trick-or-treating can safely be done at households you know and can alert ahead of time so that adequate distancing is practiced. Your child gets to show off their costume to neighbors, relatives, and friends. And the treats can even be placed outside beforehand so your child doesn’t need to come in direct contact with the people inside.
4. Although there is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted by food or food packaging, personal hygiene is still important during Halloween. Bring hand sanitizer if attending an outdoor event or going trick-or-treating. Use it frequently to keep your child’s hands clean, including before opening a package.
5. This year, it’s more important than ever that any treats you distribute or your child receives are packaged and not loose or open. If you venture out on Halloween night, bring along a package of disinfectant wipes for added peace of mind.
- More safety information is available at AlwaysATreat.com/HalloweenCentral.