BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City officials on Friday renewed their calls for people to avoid large gatherings as Halloween, a Ravens home game and Election Day loom.

During a news conference, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young stressed the city has so far been successful at avoiding large COVID-19 outbreaks, but warned residents to celebrate Halloween and the Ravens game safely and responsibly.

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The choices Baltimoreans make now, Young said, will impact what Thanksgiving looks like in the city.

“If we want to have anything resembling a normal thanksgiving, we have to be vigilant now,” he stressed.

“Wear a mask when out in public, watch your distance to others and wash your hands often,” the mayor added.

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said 300 extra officers will be available to deploy as needed on Halloween.

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The Maryland Zoo will still celebrate Halloween this year, but a bit differently. There will be 15 candy stations spread throughout for trick-or-treaters.

“We don’t know how we’re going to do trick-or-treating Saturday night, but coming here and being able to go to the Zoo and staying separated from everybody is really working out,” one local parent told WJZ.

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Baltimore City health commissioner Letitia Dzirsasa and other medical experts say outdoor activities are safer.

“The safest thing to do during Halloween is to celebrate with those in your household,” Dzirsasa said.

The Ravens will host around 4,000 fans at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday as they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers, but a number of changes will be put in place due to the pandemic.

Among those changes are social distancing and face-covering requirements, mobile-only ticketing and cashless payments for concessions and merchandise.

Tailgating will also not be allowed.

As of Friday, the city has reported 17,850 COVID-19 cases and 486 deaths. Dzirasa said the city is averaging 82 new cases daily.

Watch the full news conference below:

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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.

Kelsey Kushner