HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Health Department provided some safer alternatives to trick-or-treating this Halloween in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
While the City of Houston isn't canceling the holiday, officials did advise people to forgo traditional Halloween gatherings.
SEE RELATED STORY: Family-friendly Halloween events around the Houston area
"The City of Houston is not canceling Halloween this year, but we are discouraging people from gathering in large groups," Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a statement. "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."
Click on the pumpkins to find an event near you!
Here's a list of safer alternatives provided by city officials:
- 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.
- 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
SEE RELATED: CDC Halloween guidelines discourage trick-or-treating during COVID-19 pandemic
"While there isn't a way to completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19 transmission with any activity, we can take simple steps to reduce it," said Dr. David Persse, chief medical officer for the City of Houston.
A costume mask is not a substitute for a face cloth mask, officials noted.
They also advised people not to wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can make it harder to breathe. A safer alternative would be using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
The video above is from a previous story.