South Texas county prohibits door-to-door trick-or-treating; Drive-by Halloween celebrations allowed

Coronavirus

Group of kids with Halloween costumes walking to trick or treating (Getty Images)

EDINBURG, Texas (KVEO)—Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez signed an amended safety order on Wednesday that prohibits door-to-door trick-or-treating, but allows for city drive-by celebrations, such as “trunk-or-treat.”

According to county officials, the amended order also offers guidance, based on guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for upcoming holidays such as Dia de los Muertos, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The amended order will go into effect at one minute past midnight tonight, October 21, and will remain in effect unless modified or canceled.

“Public safety, particularly the safety of our children, was foremost in my mind as I signed these orders after consulting with local experts and elected officials,” Cortez said. “I recognize that these are extraordinary safety measures, but I also am mindful that COVID-19 remains an active and deadly threat to our community.  Many computer models are already predicting a rise in cases toward the end of the year. This order seeks to mitigate that rise.”

The orders also offer suggestions for other alternatives to door-to-door Halloween celebrations, including:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with                          
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

Beyond Halloween, the amended orders provide a set of low- to moderate-risk activities for other upcoming holidays that are generally some of the year’s most popular events in the Rio Grande Valley for extended family to gather.

Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos:

  • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others
  • Playing music in your home that your deceased loved ones enjoyed
  • Making and decorating masks or making an altar for the deceased
  • Setting out pillows and blankets in your home for the decease
  • Joining a virtual get-together celebration

Thanksgiving and Christmas:

  • Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household
  • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that does not involve contact with others
  • Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family
  • Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the following Monday
  • Watching sporting events, parades, and movies from home

Please find the full amended order click here

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