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Trick-or-treating a go but mayor’s light staying off on Halloween

Marshalltown Mayor Joel Greer chose the time and date for trick-or-treating but clarifies he is not endorsing the Halloween tradition this year.

Trick-or-treating will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 31. The city is advising recommendations in line with those issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention which outlines lower and moderate risk activities, such as decorating pumpkins and doing a virtual costume contest. The recommendations were posted on the city’s website on Thursday.

Greer took to his Marshalltown Mayor Page on Facebook to clear up his stance on trick-or-treating as Marshall County remains one of the most affected counties in Iowa from COVID-19.

“Iowa mayors have no power to cancel such a tradition, nor even to mandate wearing protective masks subject to sanctions,” he wrote. “We just pick the date and time. COVID diagnoses are spiking again, so I do have concern about the health of those giving or getting candy.”

On Wednesday, Iowa recorded 31 new deaths from COVID-19 according to USAfacts.org. Marshall County added 18 confirmed cases according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

“Even though I put my skeleton out we’ll probably keep our house dark and not put candy out,” Greer said. “Too many people are dying and going on respirators. I’m out in public enough to see how many people are not wearing masks. I know even if I said there’s no trick-or-treating in Marshalltown I doubt it is going to have any impact.”

Greer said bad weather would be more likely to deter trick-or-treaters than COVID-19. With less than a week to go the forecast looks mild on Halloween night.

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