COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Governor Mike DeWine Friday released guidelines for communities regarding the celebration of Halloween and Beggar’s Night.

During his Thursday briefing, DeWine said Halloween celebrations in Ohio this year will not look like they have in years past.  

“Face coverings must be worn, social distancing should be practiced, large groups should be avoided. And stay home if you are sick,” DeWine said during the briefing.  

The guidelines recommend avoiding or canceling hayrides and haunted houses. They also urge Ohioans to exercise caution while participating in trick-or-treating and other events that put them in close contact with others.

The guidelines recommend the following best practices:

  • It is strongly recommended that hayrides and haunted houses be canceled/avoided.
  • It is strongly recommended that Ohioans exercise caution when deciding to participate in trick-or-treating and events that put them in close contact with people outside their households. To lower risk, consider safer, socially distant ways to celebrate, such as:
    • Holding a drive-through or drive-in trick-or-treat event, with children in costume and face coverings staying in cars and collecting treats from individuals spaced at least 6 feet apart.
    • Holding drive-by costume or car-decorating contests with judges who are physically distanced.
    • Decorating your home and hide treats as an alternative to trick-or-treating.
  • Holding costume parties or pumpkin carving events or contests online, such as by video conference.
  • Do not hold large in-person Halloween parties. If holding smaller parties, limit attendance to 10 or fewer people and hold the event in an outdoor area where social distancing is possible. Avoid activities, such as bobbing for apples, that foster the spread of infection.
  • Always wear a face covering and stay 6 feet away from people who are not from your household, whether trick-or-treating, passing out treats, or attending attractions or events. Stay home if you are sick. (NOTE: Face coverings should never be placed on children younger than 2 or anyone who cannot easily remove them.)
  • Carry hand sanitizer and use it often, especially after coming into contact with frequently touched surfaces and before eating candy.
  • Select events/attractions that are held outdoors and allow attendees to stay in their cars (such as drive-through event with displays) or socially distance. Avoid events that involve being crowded in a small area or coming into contact with/being touched by others.
  • Consider the people in your household who may be at greater risk of complications if COVID-19 is brought into the home, such as those with certain health conditions, women who are pregnant, or older family members.

The guidelines also recommend children limit the number of houses being visited, wiping candy wrappers with sanitizing wipes, and avoiding homemade treats made by strangers.