Central Texas groups host socially-distant trunk or treats for Halloween

Local

Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected to say the Travis County Constables, Precinct 2, hosted the drive-thru trunk or treat event.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — With Halloween on the way and the coronavirus pandemic still widespread, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines for safely celebrating the spooky holiday.

Traditional trick or treating, crowded parties and indoor haunted houses are among the activities the CDC says pose the highest risk for coronavirus transmission, and families should avoid them this year.

Trunk or treating also poses a high risk according to the CDC, but community groups are finding ways to make them safer.

“Traditional trunk-or-treat events that many churches and communities have held for years often involve parked cars, down the lane of a parking lot regular, where people are handing out candy directly to families as they walk down a lane of a parking lot,” said Dr. Valerie Smith.

Smith serves on the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 task force and says an event like this where there would be a lot of person-to-person contact would be defined as a high-risk event.

“The safest version of a trunk-or-treat event would be where a family drove through a line of spaced individuals,” said Smith.

Patchwork Umbrella Therapy in Round Rock hosted an event similar to what Smith describes as a safe option.

“The candies are individually wrapped, and we are handing them out on a fishing pole at the very end once the families drive through the haunted house,” said Tessa Olivares, owner of Patchwork Umbrella Therapies.

The Friday event is something Shakila Green says she felt comfortable participating in.

“I just want to be safe, because I have babies, and I want to make sure they are safe,” said Green. “We are not going to be trick or treating this year.”

The Travis County Constables, Precinct 2 held a similar drive-thru event this week. They wore gloves and masks when handing out candy to kids.

“As long as we go along with the COVID guidelines, we are doing everything safe,” said Charles Roberts, with the precinct. “We haven’t been able to get out and interact with the community, so it was great to see people again.”

Smith says when it comes to whether or not your candy is safe, it all depends on the points of contact.

“One of the things that we’ve learned is that COVID doesn’t spread very well on solid surfaces, which is great, because it means that if someone has put those things in a bag, seal them for several hours, or a day or two later, then as a kid comes to grab it, it’s unlikely that would result in COVID spread,” said Smith

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