Emporia City Manager William Johnson, left, and Mayor Mary Person look over notes during the regular meeting of the Emporia City Council.

Emporia City Manager William Johnson is asking residents to follow the Virginia Department of Health guidelines during Halloween.

“People are probably going to do what they want to do,” Johnson said. Hopefully, if they are going to have events, they will follow the guidelines issued by the health department. It is broken down in low risk, moderate risk, and high risk.”

Johnson focused on the high-risk Halloween activity determined by the VDH.

* Trick-or-treating to a large number of houses or visiting multiple neighborhoods, where participants go door to door.

* Trick-or-treating at houses where individuals are not wearing a mask, and where 6-feet of physical distance is not maintained between individuals.

* Attending parties and events that may become crowded and social distancing is difficult to maintain.

* Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household.

* Going to indoor haunted houses where people may be crowded together and screaming.

According to guidelines produced by the VDH, Halloween events that involve large gatherings of individuals can increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and is not recommended.

“We just wanted to bring this forward for discussion before the mayor and Council, but also to make sure that our citizens continue to maintain social distance and do things at home for trick-or-treaters to stay as safe as possible.”

Mayor Mary Person said if people do go out on Halloween to “please wear a mask” and for everyone to stay safe.

Johnson said the VDH recommends people remain at home if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days, maintain the 6-feet distance suggestion and wear a cloth mask. A candy chute more than 6-feet long is suggested by the VDH to distribute candy on Halloween.