Cuomo says he won’t ban trick or treaters
Come Oct. 31, children across New York state may have the chance to satisfy their sweet tooths after all, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo — even in a world where masks are no longer just a costume item.
In an interview with a Long Island television news station on Tuesday, Cuomo said that he would not ban trick-or-treaters from going door-to-door this Halloween, even as the state continues to enforce strong mitigation efforts in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Specifically, Cuomo said, “I would not ban trick-or-treaters going door to door. I don’t think that’s appropriate. You have neighbors — if you want to go knock on your neighbor’s door, God bless you and I’m not going to tell you not to. If you want to go for a walk with your child through the neighborhood, I’m not gonna tell you you can’t take your child to the neighborhood, I’m not going to do that — I’ll give you my advice and guidance and then you will make a decision what you do that night.”
Local municipalities have already started to discuss how best to proceed safely. Trick-or-treating was a discussion item for the Jamestown City Council at Monday night’s work session. The council, according to Mayor Eddie Sundquist, has the power annually to set the hours during which children are allowed to go door-to-door.
Sundquist also said the city is awaiting further guidance.
“I firmly maintain that sometimes our council is ahead of the governor in that discussion,” Sundquist said when reached Tuesday afternoon. “These discussions are really important to have for the safety of our community. We are awaiting guidance from the governor’s office in terms of what a socially distanced trick or treating would look like. There needs to be further discussion on the guidance and whether we want to have those hours this year.”
Echoing Cuomo’s sentiments, Sundquist said it would be hard to prevent children from going door-to-door.
“It may or may not be sanctioned by the council,” he said. “But, either way it doesn’t prevent someone from knocking on their neighbors’ door. We want to make sure we aren’t seeing large crowds of kids going door-to-door. It’s OK to go to your neighbor’s house or a couple neighbors’ houses, but we’re not looking to have mass groups of kids in different areas in different neighborhoods.”
Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas said the city’s Common Council was expected to discuss the issue during Tuesday night’s meeting.
“We were waiting to hear what the governor was going to do if anything with banning or not banning it,” he said. “We do have a city council meeting where I believe this issue will be at least discussed. We don’t have any plan in place as of right now. I want to discuss it with council members to get their input before they move forward.”
Nevertheless, in light of the recent COVID-19 spike, Rosas wants to make sure any Halloween festivities are done safely.
“I think we have to be careful that we don’t put our children in the predicament where they are unknowingly putting themselves in a position to contract the virus or spread it to seniors who are answering the door,” Rosas said. “I don’t know what the council would like to do but I’d like to come to a decision that’s agreeable to this council with ow we move forward with Halloween activity this year.”
Sundquist added, “I think it’s important to know that we have to remain vigilant. We’ve been lucky to see low rates of the COVID-19 transmission in Jamestown. I attribute hat a lot to our community remaining vigilant and steadfast, wearing a mask and taking precautions. We are very much in the midst of this virus and we need to continue to take those precautions as we go about our daily lives.”