SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — We know it’s still early to think about but those who can’t live without Halloween are already thinking about how the coronavirus will impact the way they will celebrate
This week Los Angeles County, California, banned trick-or-treating. Then the county changed its mind saying it is not recommended.
That prompted FOX13 to ask the Shelby County Health Department whether kids get to trick-or-treat this year.
“There are no plans at the moment to ‘cancel’ Halloween,” said Shelby County Health Department Chief of Epidemiology David Sweat.
Thursday, the health department said it will distribute pamphlets to parents offering guidance on how to keep kids safe.
“And another for organizations planning to host celebrations of some kind. All of that information will be forthcoming,” said Sweat.
So far, the Shelby County health department hasn’t released any recommendations concerning Halloween and COVID-19 but it’s possible as we get closer to the end of October, we’ll have a better idea. For now, the traditions will continue with modifications of course, until they’re told otherwise.
Eleven months out of the year, Spring Tree Dr. and Domino Cove in Bartlett is like any other block, but during the month of October neighbors transform the cul-de-sac into what they call ‘Halloween Cove’ fully decked out with decorations
Alison Williams' and her mom Stephanie have lived there for two years and are getting a head start.
“Getting to set up and come out of your house and it looks like Halloween Town every single day was amazing. As a kid who loves Halloween and loves candy it was really fun,” said Allison Williams.
Last year more than 3000 people visited the cove to trick-or-treat.
“We took shifts handing out candy. It is exhausting,” said Stephanie Williams.
Before dusting the cobwebs off the ghouls, goblins and yes, even the witches. The cove’s founder, Stephen Leet feared the coronavirus could put a hold on their traditions.
“We talked about not being able to do it this year,” said Leet.
“Cancelling Halloween is like canceling Christmas,” said Rachel Watson.
Instead of calling it off, the group decided to put limitations to this year’s activities.
“We’ve got a better grasp on it I think. People are wearing their mask and doing what they’re supposed to do,” said Watson.
“If you want to drive through, that’s okay too cause there is no contact at all,” said Stephanie Williams.
According to the National Retail Federation, Halloween generated $8.8 billion nationwide last year. On average, people spent almost $90 on decorations, candy, and costumes alone.
That’s the boost the owner of Mr. Lincoln’s Costume Shoppe on Florence in Midtown told FOX13 he needs since COVID is crippling his business.
“We look forward to getting a lot of business during Halloween,” said Costume Shoppe owner Barry Lincoln.
It’s what he said he has been accustomed to. He’s rented costumes for the past 30 years.
“People can dress up anywhere they want and be who they want and not have people thinking they’re crazy," laughed Lincoln.
But Lincoln isn’t taking any chances with the threat of COVID. PPE is everywhere and he’s adamant about frequently washing every rental costume.
So even if dressing as Dracula or trick-or-treating isn’t your thing, those around town are hoping to have fun this Halloween while staying on guard.
“It’s up to social distance or whatever you choose to do. Just to be able to give that back. The fun again,” said Stephanie Williams.
“Usually everyone goes out during Halloween, but we can’t go to any activities, no corn maze or haunted attraction,” Chelsea Walton told FOX13 as she shopped for Halloween.
Shoppers are preparing for Halloween more than a month in advance.
One shopper did not want to share his name but said he refuses to let COVID-19 spoil Halloween.
It will be interesting to see the effect COVID-19 has on that revenue.
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