Trick-or-treating safely at Halloween hotspots in SWFL

Reporter: Nicole Lauren Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Candy bowl for trick-or-treaters. Credit: WINK News

If you are trick-or-treating this Halloween, there are ways to do so safely.

Robert Hawkes, director of Florida Gulf Coast University’s physician assistant program, offered these basic guidelines:

  • Don’t worry about wiping down candy wrappers
  • Wear a mask
  • Carry hand sanitizer with you
  • Limit close contact whenever possible
  • Leave candy on your doorstep rather than handing it out

Hawkes says Halloween should not have a direct impact on COVID-19 case numbers, but only if everyone utilizes the proper precautions. He also attributed the rise in cases to the arrival of autumn.

“When you see more people in a a given physical space, you’re going to see more spread, and of course if you apply the same positivity rate to a larger population, you’re going to see an increase in numbers and hospitalization numbers,” said Dr. Larry Antonucci of Lee Health. “Halloween poses a unique risk.”

Many Southwest Floridians, however, have no plans to skip their spooky celebrations.
When WINK asked you on Facebook if you are planning to hand out candy Saturday night, over 210 said “no,” but over 835 said “yes.”

Each year, tons of families swarm the Naples neighborhood of Victoria Park to go trick-or-treating, and this year may be no different, even with the pandemic in progress. Although the Centers for Disease Control may advise against it, residents are prepped and ready for Halloween. Neighbors say they’ve noticed fewer decorations than usual, but they also say they aren’t letting COVID-19 get in the way of fun.

“If you don’t wanna participate, then you just go inside,” said Jenna Pezzano. “I just think if there’s precautions… kids are wearing masks, staying distanced and it should be fine.”

“Yeah, I get that sense, too; I think people are concerned, people have drawn a lot of different conclusions about the pandemic,” said Anna Snyder. “For us, we’re not concerned. So we’re planning to have business as usual here.”

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