DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – With Halloween this coming Saturday, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and County Judge Clay Jenkins are suggesting significant adjustments to traditional Halloween plans due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With rising COVID-19 cases, an increase in hospitalizations, and Dallas County now back in the “Red-High Community Risk for COVID-19 Transmission,” activities such as trick-or-treating are discouraged.

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Alternatives such as virtual costume contests, cookie decorating, in-home candy hunting and watching Halloween movies are safe choices for families looking for ideas, the two local leaders said in a news release the Tuesday before Halloween.

“This year’s Halloween at home will be a chance to create new family traditions. My family will be celebrating at home by carving pumpkins, taking an “edible brains” baking class and watching scary movies,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. “While traditional activities will have to be put on hold this year, there are plenty of safe and family friendly alternatives that public health professionals recommend to keep you and your loved ones safe during the current pandemic. Our COVID-19 community risk is high in Dallas County, so Mayor Johnson and I are joining together to ask you to heed their advice and incorporate safer activities into your celebrations this year.”

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“Halloween, like many holidays, is usually a day to gather with our loved ones. This year, however, we need to keep our distance to protect our families, our friends, our neighbors, and our communities from COVID-19. I understand people are tired of the pandemic, and I would love to take my boys trick-or-treating this year and join friends at a Halloween party. But we will instead celebrate at home as COVID-19 cases are on the rise. I join Judge Jenkins in urging other Dallas families to do the same this weekend as we work to slow the spread of this virus and keep Dallas safe and healthy,” said Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson.

Residents are encouraged to share their photos using #StaySpookyStaySafe #HalloweenAtHome.

Mayor Johnson and Judge Jenkins said they will mention, retweet, and share select photos as well as post their own safe alternatives.

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