Haunted hayrides with limits OK, haunted houses aren’t: Pritzker admin changes guidance

ILLINOIS — In a matter of hours, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration changed it’s guidance on hayrides amid concerns over COVID-19, but haunted houses are still prohibited. A state representative says the decision is not based on science and data.

Thursday’s updated document had initially said: “Amusement rides such as train rides, hay rides, and inflatables must remain closed.”

The guidance document was updated late Friday with different language that said hayrides and haunted hayrides were permitted with capacity limits.

“Hayrides/haunted can operate at 50% capacity, with parties spaced at least six feet apart and wearing masks, with the best practice to limit hayrides to members of the same household,” Friday’s update said.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity didn’t immediately respond to why the guidelines changed.

State Rep. Charlie Meier, R-Okawville, is a hay farmer. He said hayrides are a big tradition.

“There’s some big families, there’s some small families, what if one person brings a friend,” Meier said Saturday. “Hopefully there’s some wiggle room there.”

Meier is also in Region 4 where the governor for weeks has had mitigation measures in place prohibiting restaurants and bars from having indoor service until the state reported regional COVID-19 positivity rate declines.

The governor has put different levels of mitigations on different regions of the state unevenly, like the difference in Region 4 and Region 7 mitigation measures the governor said was an “unintended mistake.”

“We’ve seen a lot of changes in the past, and they’re not always science and data,” Meier said. “After Region 4 was given that one week extension to try to get things under control, that wasn’t science and data, that was because a lot of people from his same [Democratic] party were asking him.

“Maybe his daughter wants to go on hayrides and that’s what’s happened,” Meier said. “She’s been allowed to go out of state and go to her horse competitions, so maybe she wants to go on a hayride in Illinois and that’s why we’re going to have them, but at least some people are going to enjoy hayrides and for that I’m happy.”

Pritzker recently criticized people bringing his daughter’s activities into the conversation, saying she’s competing in approved sporting events.

Both Thursday and Friday’s updated DCEO guidance says haunted houses should remain closed at this time.

The Center Square – Greg Bishop



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2 thoughts on “Haunted hayrides with limits OK, haunted houses aren’t: Pritzker admin changes guidance

  • September 29, 2020 at 6:56 pm
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    Although you think this is a haunted house, that is why you used that picture, but it is just a yard display like anyone else’s yard displays so it is very disrespectful to pull this picture to help convey the idea that “Haunted Houses are not Okay”!

    Reply
    • September 30, 2020 at 8:00 am
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      We used this picture because we love this home every year during Halloween. It’s a Halloween picture, not representative of a hayride or a haunted house. We hope people visit this year again.

      Reply

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