Amid the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic, city-sponsored Halloween events have been canceled this year in Cambridge, Massachusetts, city officials announced Tuesday.
They also said the city will not issue permits for parks, street closures or block parties in an effort to prevent large groups of trick-or-treaters from gathering close together.
"Our decision to cancel the city's annual Halloween events this year was not made lightly. We know this year has been hard on our residents, particularly families with younger children, and this is just one more sacrifice we are asking our families to make for the greater well-being, safety and health of our city," Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui said in a statement.
City officials are urging residents to avoid crowded indoor parties and haunted houses, citing the higher risk for spreading the virus.
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While trick-or-treating is still allowed and considered a higher-risk activity by Cambridge city officials, residents are urged to not hand out Halloween treats if they are sick, have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with the virus, officials said.
"I encourage residents and families to celebrate Halloween through the variety of lower-risk activities listed in the CDC guidelines," Siddiqui said.
Among those lower risk activities being suggested by city officials are:
- Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household
- Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
- Decorating your house, apartment or living space
- Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
- Having a Halloween movie night with members of your household
- Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home