Officials See Trick or Treat in Haverhill as Less Likely; Board to Discuss Virus Uptick

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The tradition of trick-or-treating will likely not be part of the festivities in Haverhill this Halloween.

The City Council this week questioned the wisdom of having children going door-to-door this year, due to the coronavirus. Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien said she spoke with a number of residents who all agree it is simply not a good idea.

“It’s a different year and, under the circumstances, I think we should take a real hard look at this. It’s only one year and we can do something different. There’s low risk activities that they say are fine. You know, having a scavenger hunt, having a Halloween movie night, having a virtual or Zoom Halloween costume contest. And, frankly, four of the people that talked to me were all elderly and didn’t want anybody coming to their door,” she said.

Previously, Mayor James J. Fiorentini stated his intention to continue with the tradition provided the spread of COVID-19 remained low. New data, however, shows a sharp spike in cases of the disease in Haverhill.

The mayor agreed the situation had changed, and trick-or-treating this year was almost certainly off the table.

“Well, this is on the agenda for an emergency meeting with the Board of Health coming up on Thursday. We’ll try to come up with some activities for kids. This means a lot to kids, but it is reasonably apparent that, unfortunately, we cannot do what we had hoped to do, which is a traditional trick-or-treat,” he said.

The mayor said whatever celebration takes place, Haverhill will coordinate with surrounding communities so that tall are doing so at the same time.

Haverhill Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro is on the record as opposing the door-to-door tradition because of COVID-19.

Haverhill School Superintendent Margaret Marotta also told WHAV, “I would certainly have concerns about it and would want to hear from the public health nurse if it were even possible.”

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