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'Purple pumpkin' Halloween COVID-19 safety initiative unveiled in Lynbrook

On Tuesday, Nassau legislators urged residents to print

Nassau residents are urged to print out a purple pumpkin sign and hang it in their window to signify a "safe location" for trick-or-treating.  Credit: Barry Sloan

In an effort to ease parents' worries about trick-or-treating amid the coronavirus pandemic, Nassau officials announced a new initiative Tuesday to signal homes handing out candy are following proper safety protocols.

Legis. C. William Gaylor (R-Lynbrook) unveiled the campaign, which calls for hanging printed signs with purple pumpkins in windows or on porches or fences, in Lynbrook. He was joined by Lynbrook Mayor Alan Beach and parents.

The purple pumpkins, Gaylor said, are meant to let parents know that the residents of the home will wear masks, distribute individually wrapped candies and maintain "proper sanitary conditions."

"This will bring just a small sense of normalcy back to what's otherwise been a difficult and trying time," Gaylor said.

Since 2012, the National Epilepsy Foundation has asked families to paint pumpkins purple to increase awareness of the disorder.

The Food Allergy Research & Education nonprofit launched a similar initiative with a different color: teal. Teal pumpkins are meant to signify to trick-or-treaters that a home has non-food items, such as glow sticks or toys, to hand out. The goal, according to the nonprofit, is to promote "inclusion for trick-or-treaters with food allergies or other conditions."

Copies of the purple pumpkin sign can be found on Gaylor's website.

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