Raimondo: Trick-or-treat before dark, don’t throw a Halloween party

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – With COVID-19 cases on the rise in the state, Governor Gina Raimondo shared new actions for Rhode Islanders to take this holiday season.

Raimondo, in an unusual Thursday press conference, said the spread of coronavirus in the state is mostly due to people letting their guard down in small social situations. She also said cases are skyrocketing among young people age 19 to 24.

“Informal, casual gatherings, where we feel comfortable, we are with people we know, and so that feels safe and we let our guard down. We get within 6 feet, we share food, we take our masks off.”

She said, when gathering for the holidays this year, people should open windows, wear their masks inside, and get an asymptomatic test.

“This isn’t forever, this is for now,” Raimondo said.

For Thanksgiving, Raimondo is urging Rhode Islanders to avoid traveling to other states.

“Today, I’m asking you to keep it local this year for Thanksgiving.”

With Halloween just a few weeks away, the state is hoping to get families to trick-or-treat in the daylight. Raimondo said it’s important for children to wear their masks and go out in small groups.

“We’d like trick-or-treating to start and end before it gets dark. As it gets darker, it’s harder to control things and harder to stay safe,” Raimondo said.

Rhode Island State Police will be tripling their presence on Halloween night, that falls on a Saturday, and the governor said they’ll be fining people gathered in groups of 15 or more. Those found violating the social gathering limit could face a fine of $500 per person.

“I’m asking you please to forgo Halloween parties for one year in order to save lives. If you do have your party, you will be part of an increase of cases that is going to lead to more hospitalizations and more deaths,” the governor said. “Before you know it, our hospitals will be overflowing, I’ll be shutting down businesses, our unemployment rate will go back up, people won’t be able to go out for dinner again.”

In addition to heavier police presence, the Department of Business Regulation will have more people checking up on bars on Halloween.

© WLNE-TV 2020

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Providence, Regional News, Rhode Island