Mayor: COVID Surge Heightens Beggars' Night Concerns

DES MOINES, IOWA – Thursday, October 29, 2020 – A significant surge in COVID-19 infections, increases in positivity rates and a record number of hospitalizations prompted a somber warning today from Mayor Frank Cownie about Beggars’ Night and Halloween.  Cownie urges Des Moines residents to limit or reconsider their festivities this weekend.

“As adults and kids, we all love Beggars’ Night and Halloween, but our COVID numbers are trending in the wrong direction and we must take that into account,” Cownie said.  “I can’t stress it more strongly, for this to be a safe and responsible Halloween. All of us need to approach it sensibly, if not, we’ll pay a hefty price down the road.”

This week, the White House coronavirus task force warned Iowans to be cautious about small indoor gatherings as the weather cools and continued to classify Iowa as a red zone. Iowa has the 10th highest per capita rate in the United States.

State officials today reported 2,469 new infections bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in Iowa since mid-March to 121,913 with nearly 20,000 reported just in Polk County. Today’s record number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients statewide stood at 605.

Nola Aigner Davis with the Polk County Health Department urges parents, children and neighbors to be smart while trick-or-treating this Beggars’ Night and to limit interactions with others. She recommends that people who would like to participate in Beggars’ Night should leave prepackaged treats outside to help limit in-person interactions.

“If you have COVID-19 or 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,” said Aigner Davis. “You can potentially expose others and increase community spread of the virus in our county.”

For tips from the CDC on safe trick or treating, click here.

Beggars’ Night is slated for Friday, Oct. 30 with trick-or-treating allowed from 6-8 p.m. throughout the City.

Al Setka
Communications Manager, City Manager’s Office
(515) 283-4057

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