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North Adams Sets Trick Or Treat Guidelines

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Trick-or-treat is a go as the city has set guidelines for Halloween this year.

Thursday morning the city announced that trick-or-treat hours will be held Saturday, Oct. 31, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

"Over the past six months, we have canceled, postponed, scaled back, or reimagined the majority of community events in North Adams in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of these decisions made in the interest of public health and safety has been necessary, and I know that many of these changes also been disappointing and difficult for our residents and visitors," Mayor Thomas Bernard said in a press release. "I didn't want to add Halloween to the list of cancellations, especially since our case counts right now show that North Adams residents have done such an amazing job of slowing the spread of COVID-19.
 
"So, my team and I thought long and hard about how we could provide a framework to help make trick-or-treat as safe as possible."
 
Bernard said the city has reviewed guidance from the U.S. Centers of Disease Controls and the state Department of Public Health and has come up with a list of recommendations dubbed "GHOST Protocol – recommendations for a fun and safe Halloween."
 

G: Grab & Go Only

Participating residents should hand out treats in goodie bags or other contactless ways.

 

H: Have Fun

This should need no explanation!

 

O: Only Visit Participating Houses

Traditionally people leave on a light or decorate to signal they are participating; trick-or-treaters should respect those who choose not to participate.

 

S: Stay Close to Home

Participants should remain in a compact, walkable neighborhood as much as possible.

 

T: Take Your Mask

As with any public activity, trick-or-treaters should wear a cloth face covering to protect themselves and those with whom they come in contact; following CDC guidance, trick-or-treaters should not wear a costume mask over their cloth face covering.

 

While the city supports activities during the announced hours, the following activities are not recommended during the Halloween season:

  • "Trunk or Treat" events at which children go from car to car instead of door to door to receive treats are not recommended.
  • Gatherings or parties with non-household members are not recommended even if they are conducted outdoors.
  • Carnivals, festivals, live entertainments, and haunted house attractions are not recommended.
In accordance with CDC and DPH guidelines, the city also asks those participating in trick-or-treat activities to:
  • Observe good hand hygiene, including hand washing and use of alcohol-based sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol. Carry hand sanitizer and use it often, especially after coming into contact with frequently touched surfaces and before eating candy;
  • Stay home and refrain from Halloween activities, including handing out Halloween treats, if they feel unwell, have tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have traveled to or from a higher risk state in the two weeks prior to Halloween; and
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet of physical distance from all other participants who are not members of the same household.

The CDC website also offers suggestions for other lower-risk alternatives to participate in Halloween.

"I know nothing says 'fun' like added rules and regulations," Bernard said. "And I want to be clear that if we experience a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases we might need to cancel Trick or Treat. For now, though, I hope our young people are looking forward to dressing up for Halloween, and I know I can't wait to see all the great costumes in my neighborhood, in a safe and socially distanced way of course."

 

 


Tags: Halloween,   holiday event,   trick-or-treat,   

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North Adams Fire Chief Meranti to Retire

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Fire Chief Stephen Meranti, center, with the late Public Safety Commissioner E. John Morocco on receiving the MEMA award in 2015. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Stephen Meranti had a particular goal in mind when he updated his resume in the mid-1990s: to become director of the city's fire services.
 
Early next year, he'll retire after 17 years leading the North Adams Fire Department and as the first "fire chief" to retire in nearly 40 years. 
 
"I've had a pretty good run I think, 33 years with the city and 17 as chief," said Meranti on Wednesday morning, as he sat in the mayor's office. "It's been a good run, we have great people working with the city, I've had made great relationships here. It's like the mayor said, bittersweet for me also. I love the job I but I had planned on my career retiring at 55 and here I am." 
 
Meranti and Mayor Thomas Bernard announced the chief's retirement after more than three decades working with the city. His last day will be Jan. 26, 2021.
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