Worcester Hopes Halloween Can Be Celebrated Safely During Pandemic

In the grips of the coronavirus pandemic, city officials in Worcester, Massachusetts, are working to find a way for residents to have a safe and fun Halloween

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Halloween may look a little different this year, but one Massachusetts city is determined not to do away with the holiday altogether.

During the coronavirus pandemic, protective masks will replace character masks, and traditional trick-or-treating door-to-door won't be happening, but Worcester officials say that doesn't mean residents can't celebrate.

"This is probably one of the biggest events besides Christmas in the country for both children and adults, and people love Halloween, they love having a good time, and I just don't want to take that away from them," said Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty.

Petty says even though Halloween is more than a month away, people in the community started asking him how the city would handle the normally door-to-door holiday, given the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's my understanding the governor's coming out with his guidelines this week," said Petty. "So I'll be able to look at those guidelines and see how we can work around those and implement those guidelines and make it a good event for everyone."

Petty has asked the city council to come up with creative ideas, and he encourages the community to think outside the box, too.

"I was thinking you just have pre-made bags of candy out front, no parent interaction, no, like, handing candy," said Worcester dad Anthony Azevedo.

"I would love for them to do it. I don't know if it will happen, but we would like to see it happen, just have some normalcy in life," added Worcester mom Brooke Azevedo.

Not everyone is convinced it can be done safely.

Rena Poitevin of Worcester says she's concerned.

"Because they don't know, like, if they sanitized their candies before giving it out to the kids," she said.

"People handing out candy, and we're all wearing masks, it just doesn't seem like a good idea," added parent Sallie Bateman.

But kids are staying hopeful they will still be able to pick out their favorite costumes and load up on sweets and treats.

"Because I love getting candy," said 6-year-old Rosie Bateman.

"I definitely want Halloween," said 12-year-old Sophia Azevedo. "I think there's some way you can do it safely."

The mayor agrees.

"We can do this. We're a great community here," said Petty. "And I think this is an issue, if we work as a community, we probably can have Halloween."

The mayor asks kids and parents to be patient, and he says he hopes to have a safe plan for Halloween soon.

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