By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
Trick or treating can still happen in North Attleborough, though officials are advising the public to be cautious.
Town Council President Keith Lapointe said that due to the drop in active COVID-19 cases, it was decided not to issue any guidance or restrictions on the holiday. North Attleborough has a total of 504 reported cases of COVID-19, of which there have been 493 recoveries.
“More measures might come out,” he said at the council’s Oct. 14 meeting.
Lapointe did caution families to maintain COVID safety guidelines, which include social distancing of six feet and wearing a face mask. He said that several neighborhoods become very busy on Halloween.
“A Halloween mask doesn’t count,” he said. “Just be smart, everybody.”
Halloween takes place on a Saturday, normally a prime occasion for parties, parades, and other festivities. However, several towns have either canceled events or prohibited trick or treating. Gov. Charlie Baker recently announced that he would not issue a mandate for Halloween, leaving it up to the cities and towns to decide for themselves.
The City of Salem becomes Halloween Central, holding parades and other events throughout the month. Each year in October, Salem – a community of around 40,000 residents – welcomes close to 500,000 visitors. In early October, it was announced that all parades, balls, festivals, and large events would be canceled. Most of the events and programs are not city-sponsored activities, however, and are instead, privately organized by local businesses and nonprofits. In all cases – whether an event is an official city-sponsored event or a privately-sponsored one – limitations imposed by the state’s reopening requirements will be in effect.
“Many people inside and outside of Salem will be disappointed that their favorite, fun and festive October activities cannot take place this year,” said Mayor Kim Driscoll in a statement. “However, as a community we are committed to doing our part to help protect residents, visitors, and staff and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Salem”
The Centers for Disease Control issued a set of guidelines for Halloween, listing activities and organizing them by the risk of spreading COVID-19. Among the high-risk ones are traditional trick-or-treating, going to an indoor haunted house, and hayrides or tractor rides. Low-risks ways of celebrating include a movie night, pumpkin carving, and a virtual costume contest.
“There are so many things you can do as opposed to trick or treating,” said Lapointe. “Consider that.”