RIVERSIDE, Ohio (WDTN) – The Ohio Department of Health released guidelines for trick-or-treating and haunted houses Friday, and a Riverside haunted house plans to open next weekend.
The Riverside Jaycees spent Friday afternoon putting up plastic barriers to protect guests waiting in line for their haunted house. The plastic can be cleaned and changed out after each night.
They’re taking cues from the guidelines schools and amusement parks are following to make the event as safe as possible.
“We have really thought through this and we’re going to take every safety precaution necessary to protect you and our volunteers that are so important to us,” Riverside Jaycees Marketing Director Julie Denning said.
They’re requiring face masks for actors and guests. They’ll be sanitizing every hour and doing a deep clean each night.
ODH’s guidance released Friday suggests haunted houses are cancelled or avoided, however the decision is left to communities and individuals.
It also states Halloween attractions should follow guidelines set for restaurants, retail and entertainment.
Denning said they’re moving forward with the haunted house because it’s their biggest fundraiser of the year and money raised goes toward helping people in the Miami Valley.
“If we don’t have this haunt, then we have 70 or more children at Christmas with no Christmas gifts,” Denning said. “We have families with no food. We have senior citizens with no food.”
The haunted house opens next Friday and runs Friday through Sunday until the end of October.
ODH also provided guidance for trick-or-treating.
It asks trick-or-treaters to avoid large groups, sanitize candy wrappers, and for candy to be delivered as socially distant as possible.
This was all good news for kids looking forward to Halloween.
“I’m excited,” Donnie Jenkins said. “I love trick-or-treating. We get to have fun”
“We want Halloween to go back to the way it was before we had COVID-19,” Rayann said.
“We’re still happy because we still get to go trick-or-treating,” Bentley said.
The state also suggests finding alternative ways to trick-or-treat besides door to door.
For the full Halloween guidance provided by OHD Friday, click here.