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Milford to go ahead with trick-or-treating, despite COVID-19 concerns

Milton Pratt
Delaware Public Media

Milford is following in Dover’s footsteps and approving trick-or-treating for Halloween this year.


The city of Dover recently stated support for the annual Halloween tradition, but emphasizing the need for people to socially distance and wear masks.


Milford did the same during its city council meeting Monday night. Mayor Arthur Campbell says he expects there to be a lot of kids this year because everyone’s been cooped up in their homes for over 6 months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


But Milford resident Nina Pletcher says this could end up being very disappointing for kids.


“One of two things is gonna happen. You’re either gonna have a boatload of kids out there walking around and nobodies gonna have their lights on because nobody wants to deal with this. Or, they’ll be a boatload of people and boatloads of lights on and you’re gonna have a helluva mess.”


Pltecher is concerned about enforcement of any regulations that come from the state. She says it’ll be impossible to enforce social distancing or mask regulations among groups of children across the entire city.


Mayor Campbell says he hopes parents will keep their kids in check and safe.


The resolution didn’t provide clear instructions for coronavirus precautions, city manager Mark Whitfield says the city is still waiting for the governor's recommendations.


“The governor and his staff are still working on those guidelines. We thought they would have them by the end of the month, we’re running out of month here. But hopefully we should have them soon but we will publicize those guidelines when we put out the information on trick-or-treat night.”


The city extended its official trick-or-treating hours by 2 additional hours to allow groups to spread out farther than normal.


Some other cities, including ones on the Delmarva peninsula, are discouraging trick or treating this year and suggesting safer alternatives to the holiday tradition.


Los Angeles county announced earlier this month they’re discouraging trick-or-treating, but still want people to participate in other Halloween activities one can enjoy in their own home, like pumpkin carving or decorating their home.


The city council passed the resolution unanimously, despite concerns over the asymptomatic transmission of the virus between children.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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