As Halloween draws near, Plano residents and neighborhoods begin preparing for trick-or-treaters during COVID-19.
Some homeowners associations plan to send out newsletters to their residents to encourage safe practices for those giving out and receiving candy, so they can slow the spread of the virus. Some of the more popular streets like Canterbury Court also held neighbor meetings to discuss plans for how trick or treating should be conducted.
“Usually our whole street does Halloween,” longtime Canterbury resident John Goudreau said. “Plus, a couple of surrounding streets, but this is the big street. I know most of the neighbors on the street and I put out flyers in the mail asking everybody to meet probably about two months ago or a month and a half. We all met at the end of the cul-de-sac, and we all wore our facemasks, we brought our chairs and social distanced. I just wanted everybody's thoughts on Halloween.”
Goudreau said that the main worry was how many people would show up. Typically, 3,000 trick-or-treaters show up to Canterbury Court on Halloween.
“We didn't want that type of crowd this year, obviously because of COVID,” Goudreau said. “We came to the conclusion that we need to talk to the city.”
Steve Stoler, director of media relations said that the city is directing residents to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance for Halloween activities when asked.
Goudreau held a second meeting after his attempts to talk with the city, where the majority of the neighbors agreed to not give out candy this year.
“To be honest, we'll probably hand out some candy for the trick-or-treaters in bags. I don't know yet. We haven't bought candy, but my wife still wants to do that. The whole goal was to not have as big of a crowd this year, and I don't think we will. I still think we're going to have too many people here though. We just didn't want to be the next COVID outbreak spot.”
Goudreau also said that decorations will be toned down this year.
“It is toned down a lot,” he said. “There's nothing new. Nobody made anything new this year. We just took some of the stuff we had in previous years. Everybody kind of does new decorations everywhere. It's kind of a theme, and we didn't get to do that this year. Hopefully, next year we can go back to normal.”
Tom Hazelton, HOA representative of the Riverbend neighborhood said that he plans to send out an email regarding safety precautions for trick or treating on Monday.
“I also think that most people will be avoiding the trick or treating scenario,” Hazelton said. “Unfortunately, in our area of the neighborhood, most of the kids are grown, so there aren't little guys running around. I know the rest of the neighborhood – especially over by Saigling Elementary, there are a lot of new families, so that's a very important thing to think about.”