White House to Host Trick-or-Treat With 'Extra Precautions' During Pandemic

The White House still plans on hosting a Halloween Trick-or-Treat event on Sunday, First Lady Melania Trump's office announced. There will be some changes made due to the coronavirus pandemic, and all guests over 2 years old are required to wear face coverings. The White House was recently the center of a coronavirus outbreak. President Donald Trump, the first lady, and their son Barron Trump all tested positive for the virus earlier this month.

The event will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET and continue to 7:30 p.m., according to a statement from Trump's office. The event will be open to frontline workers, military families, and schoolchildren and their parents. "This year’s Halloween event will feature a vibrant display of bright-colored leaves that will envelop the South Portico columns in various shades of autumn," the statement reads. "An array of chrysanthemums will also cascade down the East and West staircases, presenting subtle highlights of nature’s beauty and will be intermixed with festive pumpkins waiting to greet an audience of costumed trick-or-treaters."

There will be "extra precautions" to ensure guests' "health and safety" during the event. The number of guests this year will be limited, and the event's hours were extended. All guests over 2 years old must wear a face covering and practice social distancing while at the White House, and all staff handing out candy will have to wear gloves and face coverings. Hand sanitizers will also be made available and each department will "utilize a no-touch approach in their area when distributing their product."

Although Halloween takes place just days before the November election, President Trump is set to be at the event to greet trick-or-treaters with the first lady. Several government agencies will also be represented, including NASA and the Departments of Agriculture, Interior, Labor, Education, and Transportation, through special activities. The U.S. Air Force Strolling Strings will perform Halloween songs during the event.

Trump and President Trump both tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month, with the president spending three days at Walter Reed Medical Center for treatment. Trump made her first public appearance since testing positive in Nashville Thursday when she traveled with the president to the second and final presidential debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Trump was scheduled to appear with the president at a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, last week, but she backed out because of a lingering cough.