Halloween season is quickly approaching, and nothing says Halloween more than visiting the fun festivities in Salem. However, if you plan on attending the Salem events this October, there may be some changes coming to the city’s usual plans that you should be aware of before you go.

Mayor Kim Driscoll has announced a new plan on her Facebook page that would require a negative COVID-19 test for attendees of large, ticketed indoor events. The board of health will meet tonight to decide if Driscoll's proposal will be put into place.

Under the plan, Driscoll says a central testing site would be set up in downtown Salem on the dates of large indoor events so that event attendees will have easy access to testing. Curative, the vendor which ran the Massachusetts state COVID vaccine sites, is in communication with the city about running the testing site. The site would offer 15-minute rapid tests at no cost to event goers or to the general public.

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As it stands now, it appears that vaccination status would be irrelevant. The negative COVID test would be needed whether or not visitors have been fully vaccinated.

The root of Driscoll's concern stems from the number of people that pour into Salem from out of state each year. While Salem's COVID numbers remain relatively low at this time, Driscoll says she wants to keep it that way and protect workers that might have small children at home that are unable to be vaccinated, and loved ones that are immune-compromised.

The Salem mayor reminded everyone that just one year ago the city had to cancel all of its traditional festivities.

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