SALT LAKE CITY — Wondering how to trick-or-treat safely this Halloween in the midst of a pandemic?
Confectioner Hershey, which admittedly has a vested interest in selling candy, has you covered with a new website mapping out recommendations for a safe Halloween in every county in the US.
Disclaimer: The color map used by Hershey's is not the same as the state’s color-code restriction levels. Individuals should always practice social distancing and follow local, county and state guidelines.
Recommendations to trick-or-treat safely by color code
On the website, located here, users can hover over their county, which is color-coded by risk level. A box pops up with information specific to that county. For example, hovering over Salt Lake County, Utah, reveals the area is “orange” in terms of COVID-19 cases on Hershey’s list. Scrolling further down, the site offers recommendations for how to trick-or-treat safely based on your county’s color code.
In the green
For people who live in counties Hershey's considered “green,” it recommends traditional trick-or-treating, neighborhood costume parties, and even parties.
The state's county-by-county color-coded restriction map is different than Hershey's map. Before you plan or attend a party, make sure you check your local health guidelines. And use common sense: Wash your hands, maintain distance, wear a mask when distancing isn't possible. And if you're sick, stay home.
In the “yellow” zone, Hershey's advises only visiting neighbors who observe safe trick-or-treating practices, or having neighbors “Yeet the Treats” from 6 feet away. (Really. The site says ‘yeet.’) Other suggestions include pet costume parades or socially distant mask-decorating parties.
Orange you glad you can still have candy?
In the “orange” zone, which includes Salt Lake County, the site recommends reverse trick-or-treating: have neighbors walk by and deposit candy in your front yard as the costumed kids watch from the porch. Another option is a neighborhood candy hunt where adults hide treats for kids to seek.
Paint the house – not the town – red
Finally, Hershey advises residents of “red” zone counties to forego all forms of traditional trick-or-treating, but not the fun. The site suggests looking to alternatives, such as a scary movie night at home with family, hosting a party on Zoom, or setting up candy stations inside your home for the kids in your family to trick-or-treat safely indoors.
For more details, see Hershey’s Halloween 2020 guide here.
Hershey sales take a hit
According to CNN Business, Halloween usually makes up about 10% of Hershey’s annual sales. As a result, the company said it’s producing more family-sized packs than in typical years, anticipating more families will observe the festivities either at home or within close-knit circles of friends and family.
Hershey stock is faring better than expected, analysts say, though its stock is down about 1% on the year to date. As of Tuesday, Hershey stock was trading at $145 per share.