By Staff

SALEM (CBS) — Planning to head to Salem for the city’s world-famous Halloween events this fall? You may want to prepare to get a COVID test, regardless of your vaccination status.

The Salem Board of Health on Friday will hold a meeting to discuss requiring attendees of large indoor events this October to first get a negative COVID test.

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“Given what we have seen with the Delta variant and what we know about the number of out of state attendees at these events (balls, festivals, parties, etc.), I believe this is an entirely reasonable precaution to take,” Mayor Kim Driscoll posted to Facebook.

The city has been in talks with Curative, the vendor that ran mass vaccination sites in the state, about setting up a downtown testing site ahead of the events to provide free, 15-minute rapid tests to eventgoers.

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Salem has already implemented an indoor mask mandate through Halloween, but Driscoll said that may not be enough to protect the vulnerable.

“While an indoor mask requirement will help, we recognize that masks will be off when people are eating and drinking at these large-scale indoor events, where this is also more mingling and less distancing among patrons,” she said. “We have front line employees working in our hotels and larger venues who may have children under 12 or immune compromised individuals they go home to in the evening and we want to provide another layer of protection against spread to them during the busy Haunted Happenings season.”

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