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Halloween will still happen in Oxford, but with COVID-19 guidelines

This year has not be anywhere near normal with the COVID-19 pandemic essentially bring the world to a halt, but the City of Oxford intends to make Halloween as normal as possible.

During their regular meeting on Tuesday, the Board of Aldermen discussed the October holiday and how they are planning to allow trick-or-treaters roam area neighborhoods as safe as possible.

Other cities have already made the decision to cancel any kind of Halloween activities, despite Oct. 31 still a month and a half away, but Mayor Robyn Tannehill reiterated their intentions to allow Halloween to go on in Oxford.

“I feel our responsibility as city leaders is to give suggestions on how to trick-or-treat in a safe fashion,” Tannehill said.

Oxford’s emergency management director, Jimmy Allgood, told the board he researched what other communities are doing in terms of holding Halloween activities with COVID-19 protocols and guidelines. Allgood took what he could find and prepared a list of guidelines for Oxford citizens to abide by.

The list was not discussed, but Tannehill noted it will be posted on the City of Oxford’s website.

Allgood had to come up with his own makeshift list of guidelines, which does require a mask or facial covering be included into people’s costume, due to the lack of national guidance from the Center for Disease Control regarding how to safely conduct Halloween events and trick-or-treating.

“This is unique times for Halloween and there’s not a whole lot of guidance, nationwide,” Allgood said. “Some congressmen have asked the CDC to come up with some guidelines and the CDC didn’t come up with any guidelines. So, a lot of communities are kind of flying on their own.”

There will be a two-part list put out by the city, providing guidelines for those who are going house to house to receive treats and for those who will be handing out the candy.

Tannehill stressed that those handing out the candy should not allow every child to put their hand in the bowl, but instead have someone responsible for giving the candy out to each trick-or-treater as they come by.

A few area churches have contacted the city regarding trunk-or-treat events, which may become a more popular event this year due to COVID-19.

Allgood also asked that if anyone has recommendations or questions pertaining to this year’s Halloween, to please call his office.