HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Halloween is not canceled in the city and will continue amid the coronavirus pandemic, but he is asking people to make some changes.
Turner is asking residents to enjoy the festivities of Halloween but to forgo traditional trick-or-treating and gatherings to avoid further spread of COVID-19. The Houston Health Department stated that door-to-door trick-or-treating is a high-risk activity for spreading the coronavirus.
“The City of Houston is not canceling Halloween this year, but we are discouraging people from gathering in large groups," Turner said. "It is important that we keep the COVID-19 numbers moving in the right direction. This requires us to be smarter about how we trick-or-treat. Families and children can still have a ghoulish good time without jeopardizing their health and safety during the pandemic.”
The city and health department released the following guidelines for those planning to participate in Halloween activities:
- A safer alternative is one-way trick-or-treating, where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while maintaining a safe social distance. This can be accomplished by setting up a table or blanket at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard.
Safer options for haunted houses and other indoor activities:
- Haunted forests for easier social distancing.
- Halloween scavenger hunts or spooky movie nights with household members.
- Baking Halloween-themed treats with household members.
- Virtual costume parties.
Turner also reminded residents that a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth face mask.
REMEMBER: a costume mask is not a substitute for a face cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it's made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and mouth and doesn't leave gaps around the face.— Houston Mayor's Office (@houmayor) October 26, 2020