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A Guide To Celebrating Halloween Amid The COVID-19 Pandemic

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The big decisions for Halloween usually involve whether you'll be handing out Milky Ways or packets of M&Ms, what kind of costumes you'll trot out, and how much candy little junior should be allowed to eat.

But with COVID-19, things are a lot more complicated this year. CBS 2's Lauren Victory on Thursday had a guide to Halloween in a pandemic.

There is a rustling in River Forest; a hum about what is hanging in the air this Halloween. But there will be no candy cancellations on Keystone Avenue.

The Zimberoff family could not just drop their annual tradition.

"We just thought it was a fun and cool way to deliver something different, so for three years, we did a series of plastic chutes using gutters and funnels and plastic tubes," said David Zimberoff.

The father-son team upped their game, creating motorized candy contraptions. They never thought the 2020 design would be so relevant.

"It's really cool every year just to see little kids out here," said Sam Zimberoff. "This year, it's so perfect with COVID and I think it's really special to be able to deliver that experience."

In Chicago's Graceland West neighborhood, Halloween hype is scary serious. Neighbors said they usually pass out more than 1,000 pieces of candy each.

Unfortunately, traditional trick-or-treating is a higher-risk activity in the eyes of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which suggests people handing out treats must wear masks and individually wrap goodie bags.

Chicago's Department of Public Health created a Halloween 2020 toolkit. It includes a sign for homeowners to display.

We didn't see any walking around Graceland West, but we did find another way to track safe trick-or-treating locations. Tech wizard Ashley Wilson programed an interactive Halloween map with submissions that span the country – several of them in Chicago.

"We have about 9,000 active addresses," Wilson said.

The holiday-loving Texas mom denotes precautions taken at particular homes with icons like a witch hat.

"(The witch hat) means I put my treats in a bag and I set them outside for you, or you're looking for a ghost, that means you're looking for a candy chute ," she said.

Meanwhile, Mitchell Norinsky's daughter, Lilly Mae, will not be showing off her Halloween costumes this year because of older family members at home.

But while she is not trick-or-treatment, there is no judgment from her family on others.

"If they have situations where they can take the risk and they're protecting themselves, you know, go for it," Norinsky said.

There are several approaches out there, ranging from towns that are restricting hours to doctors encouraging kids in costumes to stay home. Here are a few:


River Forest

Will County Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Illinois Department of Public Health

Another good Halloween tip – don't let your kids eat any candy until they're home and can wash their hands. Health experts from Chicago also urge adults who are looking to celebrate to skip house parties.

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