NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – With COVID-19 cases rising in North Texas, public health officials are urging people to do their part to minimize the spread of the virus this Halloween.

“Any major event that gathers families and friends together, and Halloween being one of them, we are worried about a surge,” said Vinny Taneja, the Public Health Director for Tarrant County.

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Even though many traditional Halloween activities have been cancelled or are being discouraged, neighborhoods have come up with some creative ways to celebrate and safely pass out candy.

“Instead of 6 feet, we did 20 feet,” said Casey Ousley, describing the Halloween candy chute his family built for socially-distanced trick-or-treating.

Halloween candy chute (Caroline Vandergriff – CBS 11)

“We just wanted to be able to do it, but keep it safe,” said Ousely.

Their neighborhood in North Richland Hills is typically a Halloween destination.

“Out of control,” Ousely said. “Tons and tons of people. Street packed.”

He expects much less of a crowd this year because of the pandemic.

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To minimize the spread of the virus, the Tarrant County Health Department encourages people to celebrate outside, remain six feet from others, wear masks, and limit the number of people in a group.

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“We’re trying to find a safer way for Halloween,” Taneja said. “There’s ways to minimize risk.”

Some families are choosing to take part in more COVID-19-friendly events, instead of going door-to-door.

Halloween decorations (Caroline Vandergriff – CBS 11)

“We’ve had a rough year and I think we really look forward to events like this to just get out and about and still stay safe but still enjoy the holiday,” said Margaret Apostol, who brought her kids to a costume parade at a Flower Mound doctor’s office Wednesday night.

The event had spaced-out stops for kids to get candy from staff in costumes and masks.

“Is it risk free?” said Taneja. “No. The only risk free thing is stay home.”

That’s what Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and County Judge Clay Jenkins are asking people to do, but these families are confident they can celebrate safely.

“Just keeping some sense of normalcy, but still respecting the virus and getting to make memories too,” said parent Lacy Zihlman.


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Caroline Vandergriff