San Carlos residents concerned holiday attraction may be COVID super spreader

Every year, hundreds of people walk down a two-block street of Eucalyptus Avenue in San Carlos to view the twinkling lights and smiling Santa put out by the folks in the neighborhood, and this year is no different.

But, while the holiday attraction may look like just another beautiful display some people are calling it a super spreader event. 

"There’s just a lot of people on the blocks. So it’s kind of like, yeah, we’re being safe but we’re also like pushing the boundary of that safety. So, it’s a little alarming," says Julian Amaro, who lives on Eucalyptus. 

Though some people just want to enjoy the magic of Eucalyptus street during the holidays, others are too concerned about the possible repercussions of attending to enjoy it. 

"We prefer to just walk away because it’s a lot of people and most of the people wear masks but the thing is the distance, it can not be everybody. It’s a lot of people," Julia Jauregui says. 

City Attorney Greg Rubens said calls from concerned San Carlos residents have been coming in droves. 

"There is some concern about whether it’s violating some of the regulations and whether it’s safe," Rubens says. 

Those regulations include social distancing, wearing a mask, and not gathering in large crowds, all of which some residents argue are rules that are simply not being followed.

Now residents near the two blocks of holiday displays are calling on the city to do something about it. 

But the city says they already have. 

"We’ve posted signs, we’ve encouraged people to keep moving through the area, we do have some police presence to just kind of remind people what the rules are," says Rubens. 

Though no officers seemed to be present Monday evening. There was a sign telling people to stay in their cars. 

The city said that's about all they can do. 

"The fact is that it's not our event," Rubens says. "Holiday lights and the tradition on the street has been going on for a long time and displaying holiday decorations is a first amendment issue. That issue limits what the city can do." 

So, for the safety of everyone involved, the city is asking attraction attendees to spread holiday cheer not COVID by simply abiding by the rules.

The city says they are enforcing the rules by obtaining voluntary compliance and treating each situation case by case. 

Residents from the area are asking those that do come out to the holiday attraction, to please just stay in the car.