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Halloween challenges: Here’s how some students plan to celebrate

Nightmare on 13th is one of the local haunted houses that has remained open amid COVID-19, enforcing local health guidelines. The local haunted attraction plans to remain open through the beginning of November. (Brendan Sudberry)

COVID-19 has changed day-to-day life the world over, continuing to alter years’ old traditions. The latest victim: Halloween.

For college students, Halloween generally means a weekend full of lively parties and classic forms of entertainment like haunted houses — both of which entail direct contact with large groups of people. 

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has made classic college Halloween plans a little different.

Cody Martino, Cailinn Monahan and Jordan McFeely — all juniors at Westminster College — plan to spend their Halloweens with groups of friends rather than large parties.

“I’ll just be with a group of friends so I’m not too worried [about COVID-19],” Martino said.

Monahan said she will also spend Halloween with friends — but only those who are her housemates and those who she already comes in direct contact with on a regular basis.

“My housemates and I plan to binge on candy and have Halloween movies playing on repeat,” Monahan said.

Monahan also plans to visit a haunted house, many of which are enforcing coronavirus-related guidelines.

Two popular haunted houses in Salt Lake City — Nightmare on 13th and Fear Factory — will run through the Halloween season. Both attractions enforce the Salt Lake County health restrictions, including face coverings, social distancing, employee screenings, increased availability of hand sanitizer, increased cleaning and a reservation ticket system.

Westminster junior Jordan McFeely said she and her roommates plan to celebrate by visiting Chipotle Mexican Grill for its promotionally-priced burritos — a Halloween special the restaurant has offered in previous years.

“I’m not local to Salt Lake City so I don’t have too many local traditions, but my roommates and I have made $4 Chipotle burritos our tradition,” McFeely said. “[We] will probably just go get our food and hang out at our apartment.”

Although COVID-19 might modify traditional Halloween celebrations, college students are continuing to adjust to the challenges of the pandemic.

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