Haverhill to Begin and End Trick-or-Treating Early Saturday Due to Mosquito Threat

(File photograph.)

Haverhill is changing the hours of trick-or-treating this Saturday, Oct. 26, to 4:30 to 6 p.m., due to concerns about mosquito exposure.

Haverhill city ordinance sets trick-or-treating as the last Saturday of October between the hours of 5 and 7 p.m., but Mayor James J. Fiorentini ordered the change in hours because of public health concerns.

The state Department of Public Health currently recommends outdoor activities in Haverhill end by 6 p.m. in response to a mosquito that tested positive in the city for West Nile Virus this past summer.

Neighboring communities, including Methuen—where a horse died of the mosquito-borne EEE virus in August—have also moved trick-or-treating to make sure it ends by dusk. Methuen hours this year are also 4:30 to 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 31.

According to local forecasts, dusk will occur at about 6:15 this coming Saturday.

Health officials also recommend residents take precautions against mosquito bites while trick or treating, such as applying bug spray and wearing clothing that covers arms and legs.

The threat from mosquito-borne illnesses are expected to end after the first hard frost, which has yet to occur locally.

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