Gov. Charlie Baker says that outdoor trick-or-treating, if done with precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19, “is actually a lot safer” than many of the indoor alternatives this Halloween season.
Baker’s administration has already put out a list of tips for trick-or-treating in the midst of the pandemic, which includes keeping groups small, wearing a face covering, and limiting face-to-face interaction with members of other households.
However, during a press conference Wednesday afternoon in Salem, the Massachusetts governor shared an additional, entrepreneurial COVID-19 safety suggestion that he received in a letter from a 9-year-old constituent.
“It was written with a crayon, but it was quite clear,” Baker said. “It said, ‘Governor Baker, I want to thank you for not canceling Halloween. And I think the best thing you can do to make sure that people really limit their exposure to each other when they’re out is to tell everybody that they should give out one large candy bar, instead of those baskets of many small candy bars, because then kids won’t put their hands in and fish around for them.'”
“No fun size,” Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll chimed in.
“No fun size,” Baker agreed, adding that the letter was a “pretty clever way of promoting an idea in the context of all the rest of this.”
The governor subsequently tweeted a photo of the letter Wednesday afternoon, which clarified that “people should only give out king size candy bars.”
As you may have heard at today's press conference, I received a great suggestion from a young trick-or-treater as we approach 2020's Halloween in the Commonwealth: king-sized candy bars. pic.twitter.com/VMNbR87zXO
— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) October 21, 2020
The state’s safety tips also suggest placing candy on a platter instead of a bowl, as well as “one-way trick-or-treating,” with treats placed outside of the home for trick-or-treaters as a “grab and go.”
While some Massachusetts cities with elevated COVID-19 levels have simply canceled door-to-door trick-or-treating this year, Baker has expressed some concern that such moves could potentially push more people indoors, where the risk of spreading of the virus is much higher.
Baker reiterated Tuesday that indoor Halloween parties are “a really bad idea.”
“I can’t express this enough,” he said. “Indoor house parties — close contact, shared food, shared beverage, long periods of time with the same people, some of whom you know probably pretty well, but don’t know where they’ve been or who they work with or where they’ve traveled, without masks or distancing, which in most cases will be the case — is simply not a good idea.”
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