The City of Niagara Falls has announced formal hours for trick-or-treating this year, with city officials reminding residents to use caution and common sense as they celebrate Halloween amid the ongoing global pandemic.
The city will observe Halloween from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31. City officials are encouraging residents to abide by COVID-19 restrictions by practicing social distancing and mask wearing as well as frequent hand washing and sanitizing protocols. City officials note that costume masks are not considered to be suitable substitutes for cloth masks.
In announcing the 2020 Halloween hours, the city also released guidelines for residents to follow based on recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
The CDC identifies the following as "low-risk activities:
• carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them;
• carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends and
• decorating your house, apartment, or living space.
'Moderate risk activities are defined as follows:
• participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of your driveway or the edge of a yard);
• attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are worn, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart and
• visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is enforced, and people can maintain social distancing.
"Higher Risk" activities include:
• participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door;
• attending crowded costume parties held indoors;
• going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming and
• using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgment and increase risky behaviors.
Residents are also reminded that if they are preparing goodie bags they should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags. Also, it is not recommended that costume masks be worn over a protective cloth mask as the combination can make it dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breath. Halloween-themed cloth masks are recommended this year.
The full list of CDC guidelines can be found at: