Halloween and COVID-19: Bettendorf edition

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Stephanie Lank

FJ Lank in his Halloween costume for trick-or-treating this year.

Lily Barrett, Student Life Editor

Trick-or-treating on Halloween is a highlight of many kids’ childhoods. Going door to door in costume to pick up candy with friends is traditional for Halloween night. However, this year, it is going to be a little different.

The Scott County Health Department has given citizens precautions to take this Halloween in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 symptoms. “This includes social distancing, wearing a mask, and not participating in events if you feel ill or have symptoms,” Brooke Barnes of the Scott County Health Department stated.

Events which will take place in crowded areas are discouraged as well as not wearing a mask, so this poses the question of how will kids be able to trick or treat safely?

Mother of 3 Stephanie Lank shared her plans for Halloween. “The kids still want to do costumes, they aren’t allowed to wear them to school or celebrate Halloween at all in school. I would like them to wear masks when they are going house to house and they didn’t complain when I told them that,” Lank explained. 

When handing out candy, it has been advised to use singular baggies for trick-or-treaters to reduce contamination, as well as keeping a distance. Many people have different ideas for trick-or-treat this year to ensure the safety of trick-or-treaters and themselves.

The Lank family plans to set up a zipline for trick-or-treaters to receive their candy without approaching the house. It will be from their front porch down to the sidewalk and travel back and forth between the door and trick-or-treaters to ensure there is no contamination. 

Although many precautions can be taken, without social distancing it will be hard to contain the virus. After other holidays during the pandemic, positive cases have spiked. “In the last few weeks, our continued increase in cases has been in all age groups.  Any time an individual of any age tests positive, there is a chance that individuals of all ages may be exposed, from members of their household to co-workers or others they may be in touch with. We know that younger individuals tend to not have as many symptoms, but they can still spread the virus to others they are around,” Barnes mentioned.

While there are many changes being made to Halloween night, the city of Bettendorf believes it can still happen safely if citizens follow the regulations put in place.