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Posted on: October 2, 2020

PRESS RELEASE: CITY OF NORTHAMPTON RECOMMENDS HALLOWEEN SAFETY GUIDELINES

Image of a Halloween carved pumpkin wearing a surgical mask and the words 'Wear your mask."

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 2, 2020


CITY OF NORTHAMPTON RECOMMENDS HALLOWEEN

SAFETY GUIDELINES


NORTHAMPTON - Today, Mayor David J. Narkewicz, in cooperation with the Department of Health Director Merridith O’Leary, shared guidance for city residents who wish to participate in Halloween activities.  This guidance is intended to help residents make plans for Halloween that are consistent with current health orders designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


“I want everyone to stay safe this Halloween. While I’m proud of our record of keeping the spread of coronavirus low, we need everyone’s help to continue Northampton’s success - including those enjoying some spooky holiday fun,” shared Mayor David Narkewicz. “Please follow the advice provided by our Health Department and also the advice of the CDC if you choose to head out on October 31.”


Health Department Director Merridith O’Leary shared, “While we all know that the safest way to celebrate Halloween this year is to stay home, we also know this is an important event for many families.  To make sure that the only scary things on Halloween are the ghosts and goblins, if you do plan other activities please adopt the following best practices consistent with everything we’ve recommended since March: wearing face-coverings at all times, keeping social distance, limiting event sizes, washing your hands, staying home if you're sick, and looking out for public health and each other at all times.”

 

The Northampton Health Department urges residents to follow these guidelines:

Trick-or-Treaters

  • Stay home if sick

  • Trick-or-treat with people you live with

  • Remain 6 feet apart from people not in your household

  • Wear a face mask covering BOTH your mouth and nose (even under/over your Halloween mask)

  • Use hand sanitizer frequently while out, especially during key times like before eating or after coughing/sneezing (with sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol)

  • Wash your hands as soon as you return home

Homeowners

  • Do not hand out candy if you are sick

  • Wear a face mask covering BOTH your mouth and nose

  • Use duct tape to mark 6-foot lines in front of your home and leading to you driveway/front door

  • Position a distribution table between yourself and trick-or-treaters

  • Distribute candy on a disinfected table to eliminate direct contact

  • Wash hands often

Parents

  • Stay home if sick

  • Talk with your children about safety and social distancing guidelines and expectations

  • Guide children to stay on the right side of the road always to ensure distance

  • Carry a flashlight at night and ensure your children are wearing reflective clothing

  • Wear a face mask covering BOTH your mouth and nose

  • Wash your hands as soon as you return home

  • Inspect candy

Additionally, help “Say Boo to the Flu!” The Northampton Health Department is holding a Drive Thru Flu Vaccination Clinic, Halloween style on October 31, 10 am - 2 pm at Smith Vocational School, 80 Locust Street, Northampton.  Vaccines will be available for those who are 3 years old and older, most insurances are accepted and vouchers will be available for those who do not have insurance. Face coverings are required even though you will not be exiting the vehicle.

Costumes are strongly encouraged but please be sure we have easy access to your upper arm.   Safely handled, pre-packaged treats will be handed out.

More information and guidance can be found at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)’s Holiday Celebrations page here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween

For more information, contact the Mayor’s Office at 413-587-1249 or mayor@northamptonma.gov.

For Flu Clinic questions or information, contact the Health Department at 413-587-1214 or vfranklin@northamptonma.gov

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