Chicago Halloween brings about makeshift solutions to keep trick-or-treaters safe

Only 12% of households plan to participate in the festivities this year, according to a survey
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Halloween looks much different this year. From the city to the suburbs, people are getting creative for the spooky holiday during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many are coming up with new ways to celebrate safely.

Out in Northbrook, the Cassidy family is sending candy out of their front window, down a PVC pipe and into the hands of trick-or-treaters.

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Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike discusses how Illinoisans can celebrate Halloween safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic.



The makeshift exchange is set into motion at the sound of the doorbell.

"Drops into the funnel, comes down that slide, and if it gets stuck, we have an emergency evacuation shoot that has a leaf blower inside," said Jessica Cassidy. "So we turn on the leaf blower and it pushes it through. It has been working pretty well, but we used the leaf blower a couple of times."

Miranda Cassidy, just 11-years-old, worked on the project for weeks.

"We wanted to make something that we could social distance with," she said.

The holiday comes on the same day that Illinois officials announced nearly 8,000 new coronavirus cases, breaking the one-day case record for the third day in a row.

The spike in cases is keeping many people at home.

A survey from the NORC at the University of Chicago found that only 12% of U.S. households planned to participate in festivities this year.

For those that did, safety was top of mind.

"[We are] trying to keep our masks on, socially distance, and go to the houses that are participating with tables," said Jen Kalant.

RELATED: Illinois releases official Halloween COVID-19 guidelines
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Guidelines include no haunted houses, adjusted trick-or-treating for safety, and social distancing at pumpkin patches, among other things.



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said traditional Halloween activities can increase your risk of spreading the virus. Health officials remind people to distance, mask up, and avoid direct contact with people who do not live with you.

Doctors are also warning against Halloween parties.

"Everyone has been respectful and on the same page about putting the candy out so there is minimal contact," said Dean Kalant. "It has been great. Everyone is having fun."

With a focus on safety, many are taking the opportunity to explain the real impacts of the virus to their kids.

"This is important for everyone's health to social distance, wear a mask, wash hands, be 6-feet apart," Jessica added.

As of Saturday, Illinois health officials said more than 3,000 people were hospitalized with COVID -19.
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