Local residents were expecting the occasion to look a little different this year due to the pandemic, but for the Village of Key Biscayne, it may just be a regular night.
Village officials said they’re hoping to keep people off the street this year.
“We’re also asking that people not trick-or-treat this year,” said Key Biscayne Mayor Michael Davey.
“I understand that they cancelled it cause there’s a lot of people,” said Key Biscayne resident Bianca Pelli.
Davey cited an expected spike in COVID-19 cases from medical experts.
While the village will not enforce this, officials hope residents and visitors will take their advice.
“We just don’t think this is the right year, this is the right time,” said Davey. “What we are asking is that people do not go out this year, that they not go house to house, and that people do not entertain folks coming house to house for Halloween.”
Key Biscayne officials have also called off all of their usual holiday plans, and that means no Halloween parade and no celebrations.
Parents who spoke to 7News said they are not surprised.
“I think it’s the right thing to do,” said resident Sara Deschamps. “People here are very social, and they’re very used to going out and seeing their friends.”
Miami Beach is also changing plans for this year. There will be no planned events on Lincoln Road, though officials said revelers can still show up.
As for those families planning to head out this year, doctors have some suggestions to stay COVID-free. The main key is to stay in small groups that can social distance.
“The more people, obviously, the more dangerous the situation, because they could be a person could be an asymptomatic sharer of the virus who you could come in contact with,” said Dr. Otto Ramos with Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, “so I would recommend small groups, well-known people.”
Doctors also encourage homeowners to find fun and innovative ways to stay six feet apart from trick-or-treaters.
“Whether that means being creative and leaving candy at the end of your sidewalk. I’ve seen people trying to use fun ways to try and tube it down to them,” said Dr. Kristin Englund with Cleveland Clinic. “Let’s be creative, but let’s be safe.”
Other tips to slow the spread include:
- bring hand sanitizer with you
- wear a cloth mask, even if your costume already includes a mask
- keep children under the age of 2 at home
- have an outdoor station with individually wrapped treats for children to take
Residents in Key Biscayne hope that next year they won’t have to follow these safety guidelines.
“Oh, 2021, we want to go, we want to hug people, we want to go back out and get back to normal,” said parent Silvia Garcia-Serra.
Officials in several South Florida municipalities stressed that residents should follow the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Coral Gables plans to hold a drive-thru trick-or-treat event, but people are required to register in advance.
Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.
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