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Your Morning Matters: The trick about treats

Between Oct. 18 and Oct. 24, Ohio reported 14,717 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 — the most new cases in a week.

Good morning and welcome to your Morning Matters.

It's Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, and there’s been a lot written about this weekend’s Halloween activities. In fact, since I first asked for ideas, COVID-19 is raging even worse here and in many communities across the country.

Heck, it’s so bad, Santa Claus isn’t even going to meet with kids at the New York City Macy’s for the first time in almost 160 years! More about Christmas later ...

Many of you have written in with ideas, like Carol who said, “If you have a wagon … cover with a tablecloth and place a couple treats at the end; pull in to refill the supply and push back out. Or just place a few treats on a table, and refill as needed, wiping down in-between with disinfectant wipes.” Troy is figuring out how to integrate one of those “grabber” tools used after a recent hip surgery for use in socially distant candy distribution. 

An article from CNBC, “We asked 20 medical experts with kids about their pandemic Halloween plans. Here’s what they said,” had some really good advice. “The key is avoiding the three C’s,” said Bill Hanage, an associate professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “That’s crowds, closed spaces and close contact.”

That seems like a good plan, as is integrating medical masks into Halloween masks and gloves, as well. And keeping plenty of hand sanitizer on hand as you go from door to door. An alternative idea from Twitter: “...instead of trick-or-treating in real life, due to covid, what if everyone still made costumes and then posted them with the hashtag #trickortweet.” That would elicit a chorus of “BOO!” from most folks — and not the scary kind of “BOO!”

The most important advice as you prepare for Saturday: Let’s be careful out there!

Here's what you need to know about the Mahoning Valley today:

From week to week and even day to day, Ohio continues to break coronavirus cases records, and there's no end in sight for this unprecedented state surge. Between Oct. 18 and Oct. 24, Ohio reported 14,717 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 — the most new cases in a week. 

If you dismiss the surge as a result of increased testing, you should take a closer look. The state also set a new record for most hospitalizations in a single week; 997 Ohioans were hospitalized last week for COVID-19.

Other matters

You know who loves everything about Halloween? Columnist Liz Dreier. "I’m that embarrassing mom who stands at the door in full costume, handing out treats while her kids cower in the background yelling, ‘Mom, you’re a grown woman! Give it up already!’” And when she decided to hand out full-size candy bars, well, the results were downright spooky. Mahoning Matters

Ohioans are exhausted during the final run-up to the 2020 presidential election. They’re worried about COVID-19, about where the United States is heading, about the vote, both the mechanics of how it will work — or won’t — and about who will ultimately win. Mahoning Matters

Officials from the Western Reserve Transit Authority plan to meet with representatives from Trumbull County before the end of the year to discuss expanding public transportation there. The Business Journal [May require registration.]

Incumbent members of the state Legislature from the Mahoning Valley seeking re-election raised more money than their challengers — by a significant amount in most cases. The Vindicator [May encounter paywall.]

On Saturday, a group of Youngstown State University students, called YSUscape, came together to clean up Mahoning Commons Park. WKBN

West Middlesex Junior-Senior High School has announced it's moving to all online learning for the next two weeks after a student and faculty member tested positive for COVID-19. WFMJ

Movers and Makers

After a $2.5 million dollar overhaul, the former Regal Cinemas in the Austintown Plaza was reopened as Golden Star Theaters Austintown Cinema. The goal was to bring the luxury theater experience to town. Mahoning Matters

This story was made possible by Farmers National Bank.

Your comments matter

“I have a cousin who works in a Columbus hospital and one that works locally. It isn’t the number of cases that has them genuinely concerned — it’s the fact that in the last 22 days, hospitalizations and ICU cases have more than doubled. They said they are filling back up again, and that’s what’s causing the concern everywhere. If it were mild cases spreading like wildfire it would be a good thing for our communal immunity, but it’s serious cases, and that is terrible and suggests a resurge.”

Julianna Miller Wellington, on Ohio breaking its record for most new COVID-19 cases in one day Saturday. It was the fourth straight day the record was broken.

Registered readers can comment on a selection of our stories, and all readers can comment on stories on our Facebook page. Opinions published here do not reflect the views of Mahoning Matters.

Event of the day

The Salem Public Library will present “Women’s Suffrage and the 1850 Ohio Women’s Convention” at 6:30 p.m. The virtual presentation will provide insight into the setting and conditions that fueled the early drive for women’s suffrage, present the perspective of Quaker women and those who shared their views and share an overview of resolutions that were developed, adopted and put forth to change the Ohio Constitution in 1850. The program is free and open to the public. To register, click here or call 330-332-0042.

To see what else is going on around the Mahoning Valley, check out Mahoning Matters’ event calendar here, or click the Events tab on the top menu at

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