Kent State University, City of Kent Discouraging Visits During Annual Halloween Weekend
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kent State University and the city of Kent have an important message to share with the community members and those outside the area concerning the upcoming Halloween weekend: Do not hold or attend mass gatherings of more than 10 people who are not in your household.
This guidance also applies to the week leading up to Halloween and the days following the holiday, which typically bring a great many outsiders to Kent for the weekend.
Kent Police, the Kent City Health Department and university leaders are urging community members and students to refrain from holding large gatherings or parties to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the state of Ohio.
The city of Kent has instituted measures to deter students and other residents from holding large gatherings and parties. Kent City Council recently enacted an ordinance currently in effect that allows for civil penalties to be levied against anyone who holds or attends gatherings of more than 10 people. Additionally, certain behaviors may be subject to discipline in accordance with Code of Student Conduct.
The city of Kent and Kent State also expect city residents and students to adhere to city ordinances prohibiting disorderly conduct and loud noise.
Halloween celebrations in Kent have never been events sanctioned, condoned or promoted by the city of Kent or Kent Police, and because of the pandemic, this definitely is not the year for large holiday gatherings, according to Kent Police Department Lt. Michael Lewis.
“While we empathize with our downtown bars and restaurants in their economic struggles because of COVID-19, we must also acknowledge the potential health consequences of large gatherings,” Lewis said. “Kent Police will strictly enforce our long-standing city ordinances prohibiting parties that generate unlawful noise, underage consumption, disorderly conduct and other nuisances. For the sake of long-term health and business recovery, we ask for cooperation from our community and outside visitors.”
Kent State Community Resource Officer Tricia Knoles, echoed Lt. Lewis’ sentiments. “The safety of our students has always been our number one priority; this year is no different. We know that this year brings many challenges. We are strongly encouraging finding other ways to celebrate Halloween than having a party or gathering in large groups. This may be the year to watch your favorite Halloween movie with your roommate or take a hike with a friend and appreciate the fall colors. We want our students to be safe, follow the Flashes Safe Seven guidelines and make good choices.”
Kent City Health Commissioner Joan Seidel stated, “The support of City Council on the expansion of the Nuisance Party Ordinance to include the health commissioner’s authority to cite in these specific instances underscores how important adhering to small gatherings really is in our fight against COVID-19. To have a healthy economy, a thriving business district, we need to have a healthy community.”
In addition, Kent community members and Kent State students must continue to practice important public health safety measures recommended by the CDC. For the campus community, this includes Kent State’s Flashes Safe Seven principles.
For Kent State coronavirus updates, visit www.kent.edu/coronavirus.
For the Kent City Health Department updates, visit http://kentpublichealth.org/664/Novel-Coronavirus-Information.
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City of Kent Media Contact:
Lt. Michael Lewis, firstname.lastname@example.org, 330-673-7732
Kent State Media Contact:
Officer Tricia Knoles, email@example.com, 330-672-3070