AURORA, Ill. (WLS) -- Some suburban communities are beginning to release guidelines for Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin said in press conference Friday morning that trick-or-treating will be allowed in the large west suburban city.
Trick-or-treating hours will be extended from 4:30 to 7 p.m. to now 3 to 7 p.m., Irvin said, so families have more time to spread out, as they go door-to-door.
In place of the annual Halloween event at City Hall, Irvin also announced a citywide trick-or-treating drive-thru to keep everyone safe.
Plus, there are new guidelines in place for the popular Aurora Haunted House, The Basement of the Dead, which opens Friday.
The facility is selling timed tickets online, that will allow for social distancing guidelines to stay in place.
"We certainly take heed, and we encourage our families in Aurora to do the same," Irvin said. "With that said, we will allow trick-or-treating this year. But we must do so in a very focused and safe way, and we need the entire community to help in this endeavor. This will be a Halloween like we've never seen before."
Aurora's mayor also asks residents to mark the ground up to their doors with social distancing markings to help kids know where to stand safely.
The city is making signs available online on Oct. 1 to post outside homes, letting trick-or-treaters know they are welcome.
Elk Grove Village is allowing trick-or-treating from 3 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 31, according to a post on its village website.
Participating homeowners should place green welcome signs on their doors and turn on their porch lights.
Those who are not interested should use red signs and keep outdoor lights off.
The green and red signs will be sent out in the October edition of the village newsletter, which will be delivered to residents in mid-October.
Those going door-to-door will also be required to wear face coverings at all times, and residents passing out candy are encouraged to wear face coverings and gloves and are asked to pass out candy individually instead of inviting children to take a treat from a communal bowl.
"Let them have some fun. Let them feel like kids again, and let's get back to a little normalcy safely," said Mayor Craig Johnson.
Johnson said he got the idea for the signs while sitting at a traffic light.
"No one is going to be mad if they see a red sign. They just move on to the next house. If they see the green sign, they can go up and enjoy it," Johnson said.
Families who are trick-or-treating are asked to maintain a safe distance from others and wait to approach a house until the previous group has left.
"I'm definitely going to go for the green sign," said Wojciech Mazur. "Come on over. Get some candy. Do trick-or-treat."
"I actually think it's really great. I know a lot of us parents have been talking about what are we going to do for Halloween? Is there a way to do it safely?" said Debbie Strohm, Elk Grove Village resident.
Many municipalities are wrestling with how to make Halloween safe. Guidance in Chicago is expected soon.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reminding people a Halloween costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask or face covering.
Visit elkgrove.org for more information.
Chicago has not yet released information about its plan for Halloween, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot has hinted that it could look very different this year.
The CDC is warning that traditional trick-or-treating puts people at higher risk of spreading COVID-19.