Parents Urged to Consider Alternate Halloween Plans In Lieu of Trick-or-Treating
MIDDLEBOROUGH — Town Manager Robert Nunes and the Middleborough Board of Health are pleased to share that the Town of Middleborough is now designated “Yellow,” indicating its rate of positive COVID-19 tests has fallen. However, town officials urge extreme caution and continued vigilance to continue to stop the spread of coronavirus, especially with Halloween this weekend.
The Town of Middleborough was designated a “Red” high risk community on Oct. 22, but continued vigilance, prevention efforts and social distancing have helped the community reduce its positive test rate.
There have been 29 positive COVID-19 cases in Middleborough in the past two weeks.
Middleborough public health officials confirm that many of the positive cases in the past two weeks are from an elder care facility in town, while the rest of the cases are believed to be the result of general community spread. The town was given an asterisk on the state database of COVID-19 data today. Asterisks are given to communities when they are considered “high-risk” but have a certain portion of positive cases that are at either a long-term care facility, institution of higher education and/or correction facility within that community.
“While it is great to see the numbers going down this week, positive cases are continuing to rise throughout the state and we must all remain vigilant,” Town Manager Nunes said. “Parents may want to consider not taking their children out trick-or-treating on Halloween this week and find other alternatives to celebrate with their kids.”
If parents are going to continue with plans to have their children trick-or-treat, residents are asked to take the following precautions, in accordance with guidance that has been provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC):
- Wear a face mask or face covering. 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.
- Observe good hand hygiene, including hand washing and use of alcohol-based sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol. Carry hand sanitizer and use it often, especially after coming into contact with frequently touched surfaces and before eating candy.
- Refrain from touching your face.
- Stay home and refrain from Halloween activities, including handing out Halloween treats, if:
- you feel unwell;
- you have tested positive for COVID-19; or
- you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19
- Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet of physical distance from all other participants who are not members of the same household.
- Should residents partake in trick-or-treating, they are encouraged to make individually wrapped goodie bags that can be placed at the end of a driveway or the edge of their yard for families to take. All homeowners distributing treats are encouraged to use a disinfectant to routinely sanitize commonly touched surfaces such as doorbells and candy bowls.
- Those who do not wish to participate in trick-or-treating are asked to shut off their outdoor lights as an indicator. Trick-or-treaters are asked to respect the wishes of those who have chosen not to participate in this year’s event.
Additionally, the Town would like to share information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about several low and moderate risk alternative activities that community members can take part in for Halloween.
This includes lower risk alternatives such as carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them, or at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends; having a virtual Halloween costume contest or a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart; or having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart.
Additionally, residents are encouraged to avoid higher risks activities, such as indoor haunted houses or costume parties; hayrides or tractor rides with those outside of your household; or having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.