FORT WAYNE Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - Halloween in the middle of a global pandemic means a different kind of mask wearing and maybe less trick-or-treating. This year, families are finding ways to stay safe and celebrate the holiday.
Hundreds of families dressed up, put on masks, and said trick-or-treat Thursday night but from the safety of their car.
"How can we do something for Halloween in the midst of this pandemic,” Reverend Annie Epling at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Wayne says she wanted to still give kids the opportunity to dress-up and go trick-or-treating.
"Let's do a drive thru because we felt like that was safe and could all be socially distant,” Epling said. “We offered a safe environment for people to come out and let these kids be kids.”
She organized a drive-thru Trunk-or-Treat event in the parking lot of their church downtown on Thursday. Volunteers passed out candy to families driving by inside their vehicles. Epling says they also passed out face masks and made sure the candy wrappers were sanitized.
“Halloween is a great holiday, kids really love it, trick-or-treating is something I always loved," Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Matthew Sutter says if families choose to take their kids out on Halloween, they should keep their children’s safety in mind.
"Anytime you're closer than 6-feet to someone outside your household you should wear a mask, Halloween is a great time to wear a mask,” Sutter said.
He says families who do the traditional trick-or-treating should sanitize the candy wrappers and their hands before digging in.
Sutter also says if families choose to hand out candy at their house they should make sure they are socially distant. He says they should also get creative with how they pass out the candy, such as using a PVC pipe chute or a short toss.
"There’s still some small risk, if you want no risk with Halloween then the best thing is to stay home,” Sutter said.
The official Fort Wayne trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. on the night of Halloween Saturday October 31st.