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Trick or Treat: Is it on or off?

WISN Milwaukee logo WISN Milwaukee 9/10/2020
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The coronavirus pandemic has many children and parents wondering whether trick-or-treating will be on or off this Halloween, and community leaders around the area are struggling over that question.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus in Wisconsin

Masks are likely to be a part of more Halloween costumes than ever because communities are focusing on health and safety as local leaders try to weigh the tradition and excitement of trick-or-treating against the risk of coronavirus.

The specter of coronavirus threatens to put Halloween on hold.

Halloween is seven weeks away and already on a lot of minds.

"My own children talked to me about it this morning," Waukesha city administrator Kevin Lahner said.

Lahner announced Thursday that Waukesha has put a Halloween COVID plan in place.

"Our sentiment here at the city is that we were, as of right now, we are going to host Halloween," Lahmer said.

Trick-or-treating will take place in Waukesha for two hours on Halloween evening. Anyone participating should turn on their porch light and trick-or-treaters are asked to avoid homes where the lights are off.

"Will there be trick-or-treating in Milwaukee this year?" WISN 12 News reporter Kent Wainscott asked.

"Well, that's the $100-million question, and I don't have the answer to it," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said.

Barrett said it's too soon to know whether the virus will halt the city's Halloween plans.

"I understand the importance of this holiday. But I think we should make sure that we're doing it right and give us a little bit of time so that we can make sure that we're making the right decision," Barrett said.

In Waukesha, that decision has been made, but it may not end the debate over whether it's safe to trick-or-treat this year.

"I think as long parents are making sure they're wearing a mask, and they're taking the social precautions and staying 6 feet apart, I see no problem with it," a Waukesha resident said.

"People are trying to social distance as much as possible, so, going door-to-door with everybody, I just don't think people are going to like that," another Waukesha resident said.

Barrett said he’s encouraged by the declining percentage of positive cases in the city, but that could change at any time.

He and city health officials have already had several discussions about trick-or-treating but are still taking a wait-and-see approach.

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