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2020 has been an interesting year for the community here in Marshall, with October set to be no different. Though Halloween isn’t canceled this year, community members should be cautious in their trick or treating plans by following city and CDC guidelines to keep themselves and their families safe.

For starters, anyone in the community who was been diagnosed with COVID-19 or been exposed to the virus should refrain from both public and private gatherings this Halloween.

Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-30 states any outdoor activity over 10 participants and not from the same household requires the Mayor’s approval.

Any community members planning such an event are asked to submit a letter describing all the planned activities and safety precautions to Marshall Main Street Director Rachel Chapman at chapman.rachel@marshalltexas.net as soon as possible.

The city’s annual Harvest Festival event is also canceled for this year, due to the potential risk to school age children.

However, many local businesses still plan to host safe trick or treating at their retail locations this year. Chapman is composing a full list of these events which will be available at www.marshalltexas.net.

The Greater Marshall Chamber of Commerce will also host a virtual Toddler Trot and Kids K event this year on Halloween, starting at 9 a.m.

Registration for the event is $10 per child and includes a swag bag with goodies for the children who participate.

Community members can participate in the event anywhere, and anyone interested in participating in the event can go to www.marshalltexas.net to register.

Community members must register for the event by Oct. 28.

For all other Halloween activities, including traditional trick or treating in a neighborhood, the Centers for Disease Control advocates organizers and attendees should use best practices.

This includes making trick-or-treating safer by:

  • Avoiding direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
  • Giving out treats outdoors, if possible.
  • Setting up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take.
  • Washing your hands before handling treats.
  • Wearing a mask.

For trick-or-treaters the CDC recommends:

  • Make your cloth mask part of your costume (a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask).
  • Do NOT wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. It can make breathing more difficult.
  • Bring hand sanitizer with you and use it after touching objects or other people.
  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Parents: supervise young children using hand sanitizer.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home and before you eat any treats.
  • Walk from house to house, admiring Halloween decorations at a distance.
  • Indoors and outdoors, stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you.