City calls on residents to avoid trick-or-treating for Halloween

The City’s Board of Health and City Manager Tom Ambrosino said they are discouraging parents and children from celebrating Halloween or Day of the Dead by trick or treating.

The Board of Health issued a resolution this month advising residents not to trick-or-treat, and Ambrosino said this week he backs that up.

“We are strongly discouraging typical day to day trick or treating at stranger’s doors,” he said. “It’s high-risk according to the CDC. The Board of Health is discouraging it and we are discouraging it. I’m not going to arrest 10-year-olds for trick or treating, but we are strongly discouraging it.”

The Board of Health resolution referred to the Governor’s State of Emergency on COVID-19 to issue its resolution. The Board said it has found that traditional activities for Halloween or Day of the Dead can be high-risk for spreading COVID-19, or for being exposed to someone that might have COVID-19.

“Some Halloween and Dia De los Muertos activities are higher risk than others and the best way to avoid becoming infected is to avoid being exposed to the virus altogether,” it read. “This is particularly important for people at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.  This may mean choosing not to participate in Halloween activities during the pandemic. It is hereby ordered that door-to-door trick or treating, large gatherings and other traditional events for Halloween and Dia de los Muertos are strongly discouraged and safer alternatives should be considered.”

Halloween is Saturday, Oct. 31, and Day of the Dead is typically afterward.

•There are other options though, as the City is planning a safe event for children.

The Chelsea Recreation Division is offering a FREE, safe, and socially distanced alternative to door-to-door Trick or Treating.  Children ages 3-10 with a parent, are welcome to register for the 6 Feet Trick or Treat event held outdoors in front of the Williams Building, Arlington Street on Saturday, October 31 between 2-4 p.m. Rain or Shine. 

Entrance to the NON-CONTACT event will begin at the Williams Building’s Walnut Street Parking lot. Registrants will be contacted prior to the event and given a non-transferable number and time when to arrive by car (recommended) or by foot. The number reserves one family but there may be multiple children. Children, in costume, accompanied by a parent will follow the sidewalk to the Arlington Street entrance to receive a bag of candy. Parents can take a photo of their children in front of Halloween images.

COVID-19 Public Health Guidelines will be strictly followed. Cloth masks will be required.  Spots are limited to Chelsea residents only so be sure to register now.

There are three easy ways to register:  by phone 617-466-5233, email recreation.chelseama.gov or online recreation.chelsema.gov. Registration deadline is Thursday, October 29.

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