Preparing for a safe Halloween with candy chutes and light shows

Published: Oct. 30, 2020 at 10:37 PM CDT
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HAMPTON, Ill. (KWQC) - COVID-19 cases reach another high in Illinois and Rock Island County, with Iowa’s continuing to climb as well. Health officials are urging you to be safe this Halloween. “We want people to be able to celebrate their traditions, but they just really need to do it in a safer way,” says Rock Island County Health Department’s Chief Operating Officer Janet Hill. She recommends you wear a face mask if you go out or give out candy, as well as social distancing.

The Wade family in Bettendorf is finding a fun way to social distance, by incorporating a candy chute into their trick-or-treating routine this year. Chris and Julie say it took them about one day to create the chute, which allows one person to stand on the flat roof with a face mask and gloves, sending a candy down a chute where kids can place their bags underneath or pick it up from the basket. The Wades say hand sanitizer will be available for trick-or-treaters on Terrace Park Drive.

Chris Wade says they felt with increasing cases of coronavirus, they felt “rather than standing at the door and handing stuff like usual, maybe this would be a good lesson for everybody about acting safely, responsibility, wearing their masks and social distancing.” Julie added, “while still having fun!”

Hill says kids are considered “spreaders” of COVID-19 since they typically have mild cases. If your still choose to go out on Halloween, Hill emphasizes the need to bring hand sanitizer with you: “we know that the virus likes to live on hands. We really don’t want people reaching into a bowl of candy and spreading the virus around. Having those individually packaged treats is what we think is the best option if you’re if people are insisting on going trick or treating.”

Hill recommends keeping candy at a distance, like on a table and spread out. If you’re looking for other options this Halloween, Hill says doing a scavenger hunt similar to Easter is a great option. Another would be visiting a light show! Aaron Brown and Al Miller their first light show in Hampton about three years ago. This year though, they said they made it even bigger, “it’s a nice thing to be able to come out in their vehicles and not be staring in the crowd, something that you won’t have to pay for. So, then it’s I mean it’s really a good thing to be doing.”

Miller loves to decorate, and Brown knows how to set up a light show so they decided to create a partnership. Miller says families love to stay in their car and watch the show. You can visit the light show from dusk until midnight at 606 10th Ave, Hampton, Illinois. The Halloween lights will be up until Sunday night. Christmas lights will be put up around Thanksgiving, according to Miller. You can listen to music the lights are programmed to from your car radio on 98.3FM.

If you plan on hosting a small gathering, Hill says you should still wear your mask and keep it socially distanced. “People think that they are being safe because they’re just with their buddy. Well, they don’t know exactly what your friend’s risk is or their exposure,” says Hill. Small gatherings are one of the main reasons we’ve been seeing an increase in cases, says Hill.

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