October 30, 2020
Thank you for another great week of learning! I write to again share the Town of Concord’s advisory about Halloween. We want everyone to have fun but within the parameters of safety and caution. Concord and Carlisle continue to have low virus counts despite growing numbers all around us. There will not be room for error given the spread of the virus so attention to the safety protocols is crucial. This weekend, please wear face masks (not just costumes), physically distance, and avoid crowds. Below is the complete language of the advisories and guidance from the Concord Board of Health and CDC. Thank you for your ongoing conscientiousness and commitment to stopping the spread.
TOWN OF CONCORD HALLOWEEN ADVISORY
The Concord Town Manager and Board of Health have received inquiries regarding Halloween events and safety during COVID-19. In an effort to create a safe holiday, we have taken the following items into consideration:
- Acknowledge and respond to the recent increase in COVID activity within Concord and surrounding towns;
- Reduce the risk to all Concord residents;
- Support efforts to keep our schools open;
- Discourage gatherings in neighborhoods and out-of-town participation; and
- Adhere to Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidelines
The Board of Health and Town Manager are advising residents to avoid Higher Risk and Moderate Risk activities including traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating. Lower Risk activities are preferred ways to celebrate while minimizing risk.
As a reminder, restrictions are still in place which limit indoor and outdoor activities. Please see the mass.gov websitefor questions on restrictions.
For those who choose to partake in Trick-or-Treating:
Please be aware that Trick-or-Treating needs to be done differently this year to help protect everyone.
- Wear an appropriate cloth face covering,
- Social distancing of at least 6’ is required at all times for everyone, unless you live in the same household.
- Trick-or-Treat as a household group and avoid large groups and indoor gatherings.
- Provide individually wrapped candy or goodie bags that can be placed outdoors for easy access that allows participants to maintain social distancing. Place treats on a platter for families to grab and go with minimal contact; avoid communal candy bowls.
- Stay home if you don’t feel well or may have been exposed to COVID-19 and do not hand out treats.
- Those who do not wish to participate in Trick-or-Treat are asked to shut off their outdoors lights as an indicator.
CDC Halloween Guidelines
Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween. If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.
LOWER RISK ACTIVITIES
These lower risk activities can be safe alternatives:
- Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
- Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
- Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
- Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
- Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
- Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
- Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house
MODERATE RISK ACTIVITIES
- Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)
- If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.
- Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart
- Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
- A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.
- Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
- Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
- If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
- Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
- Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart
HIGHER RISK ACTIVITIES
Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:
- Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
- Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots