SAN ANGELO, Texas — Many Concho Valley residents are already making plans for Halloween celebrations but they’ll be different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has spooked Halloween for some.
In the Concho Valley some Halloween events are being cancelled, like the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office annual trunk-or-treat. Others will still hold their events, with some changes. The San Angelo YMCA will still have “Halloween at the Y” but this year it will be a trick-or-treat drive-through and participants must remain in their vehicles.
According to the City of San Angelo’s Public Information Officer, Brian Groves, while the city does not regulate trick-or-treating for citizens, they are recommending those who do go out take precautions.
“The city does not regulate Halloween times, we leave that up to the individual,” said Groves, “We ask people to wear masks, to social distance when they can, to wash their hands when they can.”
The Centers for Disease control recommends people participate in lower risk Halloween activities, like decorating your home or doing a virtual costume contest, as other high risk activities like attending crowded costume parties could spread the virus.
Outdoor gatherings like fall festivals and trunk or treats will still be allowed, but organizers must provide the city with a plan for public events. Plans should be submitted to the health department at firstname.lastname@example.org. All individuals must wear a face covering over the nose and mouth whenever it is not feasible to maintain social distancing from others.
“For gatherings larger than 10 people, people need to submit a plan to our health department to let us know what they’re doing so it can be approved. Things like fall festivals, and trunk or treats, just to make sure people are being careful since we’re still in this pandemic,” explained Groves.
Whatever families decide to do this year to celebrate the holiday, Groves said the city just wants citizens to have a good time while being safe.
“We want people to have a good time, we want people to enjoy Halloween, we want people to enjoy dressing up and taking their kiddos. We want people to be safe. Wash your hands, social distance, wear a mask. If you’re an event organizer, have a plan and send it to our health department so they can see what’s going on and they can sign off on it. We just want everyone to be safe and have a good time,” added Groves.
To learn more about the CDC’s recommendations on how to celebrate Halloween safely, click here.