In an announcement earlier this week, Durham Mayor Steve Schewel said how much he loved Halloween. He even donned a witch hat for the occasion.
"It's one of my favorite holidays," Schewel said. "This year, because of COVID, Halloween is going to have to be different."
He said Durham residents have done a great job following local, state, and federal regulations that have helped suppress cases of the novel coronavirus.
Still, Schewel said, it's important to keep doing those things during Halloween.
"The last thing that we want is for Halloween to become a super-spreader event in our community"
Durham is advocating similar holiday safety measures as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
That means door-to-door trick-or-treating is strongly discouraged.
Schewel is asking neighborhoods and families to leave their porch lights off on Halloween, as a signal that they are not participating in door-to-door trick-or-treating activities. Currently, under North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper's executive order, no more than 50 people can gather outdoors together.
"On Halloween I usually have more than 50 people lined up on my side of the road alone. This year that can't happen," Schewel said.
Durham will not be providing barriers, cones, or police officers to manage Halloween traffic in neighborhoods this year.
The mayor said officers will not be tasked with extra patrols to enforce the Halloween restrictions. However, he said they would respond to egregious violations or complaints.
"This is not about enforcement; this is about voluntary compliance," Schewel said.
Learn more about alternative Halloween events in Durham here.
Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin didn't urge parents and kids to stay home, but made recommendations to keep trick-or-treating safe.
"Your children and you need to wear masks. You need to social distance," said Baldwin. "If you're leaving candy out for children, please don't put it in a big bowl. Put it separately so children can pick something up."
Information on Raleigh Parks Halloween programs can be found here.
City of Fayetteville officials said it is "strongly recommended and encouraged" that people engage in alternative Halloween activities, instead of traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating.
The City's Emergency Management Coordinator Scott Bullard shared the following personal protection advice:
1. Correctly wear a cloth face covering to prevent disease spread when outside your home and around others who are not part of your household.
2. Avoid close contact. Stay at least 6 feet away (3 or more adult steps) from people who are not part of your household - especially while talking, eating, drinking, and singing.
3. Avoid confined spaces. Stay away from indoor spaces that do not allow for easy distancing of at least 6 feet between you and others.
4. Wash or sanitize your hands often.
5. Regularly clean frequently touched items.
6. If you are sick, or you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 or showing symptoms stay home, and away from others.