The evening activity ban in Hamilton has been lifted, effective immediately, meaning Trick-or-Treating can go ahead as planned on Wednesday.
The three-member Hamilton Board of Health unanimously voted to lift the ban when it met on Wednesday night at Hamilton Town Hall, making the decision in about 15 minutes.
“The mandatory ban is no longer in place,” Hamilton Board of Health Chairman Lindle Willnow said, adding that the board encourages residents to use “extreme precautions” after 5 p.m. and before 8 a.m., when the activity ban had been in place. Willnow noted that the board’s warning was especially pointed at Trick-or-Treat on Wednesday.
It was the first time the board had met since Oct. 13, when temperatures dropped into the high 20s but not to 28 degrees or lower for four hours or longer, as the board said would be needed when the evening activity was put into place on Oct. 1.
The Wenham Board of Health, which has a similar ban in place, is expected to make a similar decision said Gerald Donnellan, chairman of the Wenham Board of Health.
“What you have done tonight we will try to repeat (on Friday),” Donnellan said. The Wenham Board of Health is scheduled to meet on Friday at 9:30 a.m. at Wenham Town Hall to discuss just one item – the evening activity ban.
The difference between Hamilton and Wenham, though, is that the activity ban extended to all organized outdoor activities after 5 p.m., even private activities in Hamilton. The ban would have extended to Trick-or-Treating. But in Wenham, the ban extends only to publically organized outdoor activities.
Willnow said he would confer with Town Manager Michael Lombardo before deciding whether a Connect-CTY message would be sent out notifying resident that the ban had been lifted. He will also notify Hamilton-Wenham Recreation Director Sean Timmons and the local youth sports leagues.
While the board lifted the ban, the danger of contracting Eastern equine encephalitis still exists and the board still recommends residents avoid all outdoor activities.
“I have seen mosquitoes out since Oct. 13 so they are still around,” Willnow said, noting the forecast over the next week calls for temperatures into the 60s.
“It’s a tough decision but I think it is the right one,” Willnow said.