Kanawha commission taking comments about Trick or Treat

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha County Commission is taking public comment regarding policies for the county’s Halloween procedures.

While the county is not holding any events on Oct. 31 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the commission previously approved the county’s trick-or-treating period to take place on Halloween between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“This should be limited for little ones,” Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said during Wednesday’s commission meeting. “Why can’t a mother and a father or an aunt or an uncle or a grandparent supervise children for two hours on a Saturday — basically in the daytime — or what they do for the rest of the week?

The commission shared guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the risks associated with Halloween activities. Low-risk activities include carving pumpkins, decorating one’s home and hosting a family movie night. The CDC notes high-risk activities as traditional trick-or-treating, Halloween parties and indoor haunted houses.

Carper said with the fall will be a difficult time because of the coronavirus pandemic and annual flu cases, but children should have opportunities to enjoy some seasonal events.

“If they can go to school and if they can go play on a playground, moms, dads and grandparents, we believe, can properly supervise their children,” he said.

Carper said people who do not wish to take part in trick-or-treating should keep their lights off.

The commission will make a formal announcement about Halloween “at least a week before” Oct. 31.

“If conditions worsen, we’d recommended that nobody do anything,” Carper added.

The commission on Wednesday also approved $640,000 for volunteer and city fire departments in Kanawha County, in which the funding is from the county’s general and coal severance funds.