LAWRENCE (CBS) — The city of Lawrence is the latest Massachusetts community to ban trick-or-treating on Halloween as coronavirus cases rise. The pandemic has also forced the cancellation of all city-sponsored Halloween events, Mayor Dan Rivera announced Monday.

Lawrence ranks third in the state when it comes to overall coronavirus case count, the mayor’s office said. The city is in the “red zone” on the Massachusetts coronavirus map. 

“We understand that this year has been full of sacrifices and disappointments, especially for families with children,” Rivera said in a statement. “At this time, we are not able to safely have our children in schools, and it would be careless to
allow for public Halloween events to take place.”

Families are being encouraged to find safer ways to celebrate Halloween. The mayor suggests pumpkin carving at home or virtual costume contests.

“If we want to be able to celebrate next Halloween, and Halloweens to follow, we have to take the actions necessary to stop the virus now,” Rivera said. “Please heed our advice and do not participate in door to door trick-or-treating.”

The CDC classifies trick-or-treating as a higher risk activity due to the coronavirus. Lowell, Worcester and Springfield are among the other Massachusetts cities that are prohibiting trick-or-treating this year.

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