RAYMONDVILLE — The coronavirus is wiping out Halloween trick-or-treating this year.
Willacy County Judge Aurelio Guerra has issued an order banning door-to-door trick-or-treating while mandating other restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19.
“In light of the ongoing coronavirus public health emergency, Willacy County leaders have taken this step to protect Willacy County residents,” Guerra stated.
“An increase in recent cases indicates that this virus remains active within the Willacy County community and measures such as these … are necessary to continue to slow the spread of the coronavirus by community spread.”
The order, also signed by Raymondville Mayor Gilbert Gonzales, Lyford Mayor Wally Solis and San Perlita Mayor George Guadiana, extends restrictions through Nov. 2.
The order describes trick-or-treating as “high risk.”
“People complain they want to trick-or-treat but you never know where you’re getting the candy from,” said Solis, whose wife Juanita died of complications after contracting COVID-19 in July.
“I don’t think we should do this, especially for our kids,” he said during an interview. “Sometimes you’ve got to put your foot down. I would do anything to do away with this virus.”
The order also bans costume parties and haunted house tours, hayrides and festivals.
“We’re discouraging people from having events that gather people,” Frank Torres, the county’s emergency management coordinator, said during an interview.
Instead, the order allows “lower-risk activities” such as carving pumpkins at home or in small groups while social distancing, home decorating, scavenger hunts, virtual Halloween costume contests and household Halloween movie nights.
“You can decorate your house and gather with your family,” Gonzales said.