SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – There will be no door-to-door trick-or-treating in the Springfield area this Halloween due to safety concerns of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, city officials announced Friday.
Mayor Domenic Sarno said he, along with Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton and the Board of Public Health all came to an agreement to make the decision to prohibit door to door trick or treating for Halloween.
22News spoke with one parent who said he feels sorry for the kids missing out on the Halloween festivities, and wish there were better alternatives.
“It would have been something good and positive for the kids because of the year they are having with not being able to play sports and not being able to have school with all of the remote learning and everything of the sort,” said Carlos Sosa of Granby. “It’s just really a shame.”
However, safe events such as drive-by, drive-thru, drive-in, and or car parades may be allowed as long as proper public health and safety protocols and guidelines are taken.
The City of Springfield said they are making this announcement as early as possible to give families and organizations enough time to plan safe Halloween events that won’t contribute to the spread of COVID-19.
“We have all worked so hard to continue to defeat this COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic by currently being designated a ‘green zone’, we just don’t want to go backwards. We must continue to be smart and safe in order to continue to build public, consumer, and business confidence.”Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris
Below is a list of what is allowed and not allowed this Halloween as directed by the the City of Springfield:
- Door-to-door trick or treating is not allowed because it can be very difficult to maintain proper social distancing on porches and at front doors. It is also important to protect the health of the public and of persons who are isolated or quarantined.
- “Trick or treating” events where children go from car to car instead of door to door to receive treats are not recommended
- Gatherings or Parties with non-household members are not recommended even if they are conducted outdoors.
- Carnivals, festivals, live entertainments, and haunted house attractions are not recommended.
- Online parties/contest (e.g. costumes or pumpkin carving).
- Car parades that comply with public health guidance for vehicle-based parades.
- Drive-by events or contest where individuals dress up or decorate their vehicles and drive-by “judges” that are appropriately physically distanced.
- Drive through events where individuals remain in their vehicles and drive through an area with Halloween displays.
- Drive-in events where individuals receive a treat bag (limited to commercially packaged non-perishable treats) or take away item from an organizer while the participants remain in their vehicle.
Personal Protection Measures:
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate Halloween it is important to keep the following in mind:
- Wear a cloth face covering when outside your home and around others that are not part of your household.
- Avoid confined spaces – Actively stay away from indoor spaces that do not allow for easy distancing of at least 6 feet between you and others.
- Avoid close contact – Stay at least 6 feet away from all other people who are not part of your own household, especially while talking, eating, drinking and singing.
- Wash or sanitize your hands often.
- Clean frequently touched items regularly.
- If you are sick, or you been in contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19 stay home, and away from others.