TEXAS – Halloween won’t look the same for many neighborhoods this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but two Texas counties have taken a more restrictive step by completely banning traditional door-knocking for trick-or-treaters.
What You Need To Know
- El Paso reported its largest number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 on Monday
- Steady increase of cases in recent weeks prompted tighter pandemic restrictions for the county
- Hidalgo County released an emergency order prohibiting door-to-door trick-or-treating effective October 22
- CDC listed door-to-door trick-or-treating, costume parties, haunted houses and festivals as high risk
On Monday, El Paso reported its largest number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19. The steady increase of cases in recent weeks prompted tighter pandemic restrictions for the county, affecting the popular interactive holiday of Halloween.
“We don’t want door-to-door trick or treating. Period,” El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said during a news conference earlier this month.
According to the El Paso Times, the El Paso Parks & Recreation Department is planning “trunks or treats” events where candy will be placed in trunks of cars as an alternative to door-to-door traditions. Other events like parties, haunted houses, festivals and live entertainment are also banned to avoid spread of the coronavirus.
County health officials suggested residents take to car parades to pass out candy as well.
Hidalgo County, where the Rio Grande Valley has become known as a Texas hotspot for COVID-19, has also released an emergency order prohibiting door-to-door trick-or-treating. The order takes effect as early as Thursday. The county has recommended similar alternatives that El Paso County has emphasized.
While El Paso and Hidalgo hold the fifth and sixth spots for highest COVID-19 cases in Texas, the state's largest counties, including Harris, Dallas, Bexar and Tarrant, have not enforced any orders for Halloween but are highly encouraging residents to avoid traditional Halloween gatherings in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines.
The two counties decision to enforce CDC guidelines align with their recommendations against traditional Halloween activities. The agency listed door-to-door trick-or-treating, costume parties, haunted houses and festivals as high risk. The more low-risk activities included watching movies or carving pumpkins with family members at home.
Open-air activities with social-distancing were labeled as moderate risk.