Q: My kids have been asking me for weeks: Will the trick-or-treat take place this Halloween? Our Upper West Side co-op has been silent so far, but what’s the word on the street? Do the buildings plan to allow children to take the elevator from floor to floor to collect their loot? Personally, I have mixed feelings about all of this. I want my kids to enjoy something normal, but I’m also worried about the potential for an outbreak in the building. So how do buildings approach this sticky subject?

A: I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this Halloween is shaping up to be a dud for apartment dwellers.

“I would be surprised if the buildings allow deceptive youth to run around, even with masks on, because they cannot yet be vaccinated,” said Steven D. Sladkus, real estate attorney and partner at Manhattan Schwartz law firm. Sladkus. Atlas of the Reich Greenberg. “We are not outside the Covid zone. “

Last fall, during the second wave of the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discouraged trick-or-treat, describing it as a high-risk activity to be avoided. In turn, New York’s apartment buildings have ended the annual tradition of children taking the elevator to their apartment in search of candy.


But this year is different. Schools have reopened, many office workers have returned to their desks, and restaurants are crowded. Last Sunday on CNN, Dr. Anthony Fauci told Americans, “Go ahead and enjoy Halloween.”

The key words: “Get out. Halloween may be back in neighborhoods where children can roam the streets, but conditions are not the same in apartment buildings. Although 76% of adults in New York City are fully immunized, children 11 and under are not. With the rise of the Delta variant, buildings that relaxed their masking rules in early summer have reinstated some social distancing policies.

“No building wants to be the building that made Halloween possible and there has been an epidemic because of children running around with Covid,” Mr Sladkus said.

So what are they doing instead? They’re everywhere, according to Dan Wurtzel, president of property management firm FirstService Residential New York. At one end of the spectrum are the buildings that postpone the holidays until next year. On the other, buildings with a large outdoor space, such as a courtyard or a common roof terrace, where they can host events like spooky movie nights or costume parties. Some buildings try to thread the needle, handing out bags of goodies in the lobby or allowing a limited number of treats, as long as the children wear masks and only knock on the doors of neighbors who have opted in to the event. .

Mr Wurtzel doubts that many residents will participate in the sleight of hand, given the choice. “I don’t know if it’s going well with the resident population,” he said. “Signing up means you’re going to have a lot of unvaccinated young children coming to your front door, and do you want that? “

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