POCOMOKE CITY, Md. (WJZ) — One Maryland community has cancelled any city-sponsored Halloween trick-or-treating events after new guidelines from the CDC suggest its a high-risk behavior for spreading coronavirus.

The Pocomoke City Police Department put out a statement on Facebook Thursday morning which stated,” After careful consideration and reviewing the Center for Disease Control and Preventions recommendations, Pocomoke City Officials and Chief Brumley made the decision today to cancel trick or treating in Pocomoke City. The decision was made considering the ongoing concern of the Coronavirus pandemic. Please see below the release from CDC on Monday and their explanation. We understand 2020 has been very frustrating one way or the other. However, our citizens’ safety is our #1 concern. We will see you hopefully Halloween 2021.”

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The police stated some surrounding communities also canceled their trick-or-treating as well.

In an updated statement, the city said it’s asking residents who do not wish to be approached by trick-or-treaters to simply turn off your porch lights or front door lights on Halloween.

“We are asking those people who do choose to Trick or Treat to respect the preference of many residents that do not wish to participate. The City strongly urges anyone who decides to participate to practice safe social distancing and wear masks. It is the responsibility of adults to ensure these measures are taken and they should accompany children on Halloween,” the statement reads.

According to new guidelines announced Monday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traditional trick-or-treating is considered a high-risk activity when it comes to spreading COVID-19.

Door-to-door trick-or-treating, trunk-or-treating “where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots” and indoor parties or haunted houses are among the riskiest Halloween activities when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19, the CDC says.

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The CDC also says things like hayrides and tractor rides with others should be avoided as well as attending fall festivals.

“Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses,” the CDC’s holiday recommendations page says. “There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween. If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.”

Officials in Howard County recently discouraged trick-or-treating also due to the CDC’s new recommendations.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

CBS Baltimore Staff

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