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Health Department - News

Posted on: October 13, 2020

Guidelines for Staying COVID-safe this Halloween

A photo of a jack-o-lantern wearing a mask.

During fall holidays like Halloween, it's important to be COVID-safe! Things will look different this year, but we can still have fun and prevent the spread of COVID-19 by wearing face coverings, social distancing, washing our hands often, and staying home when sick.  

When celebrating Halloween or other fall holidays, local and state health orders should be followed at all times. 

As the local health authority, the Health Department considers trick-or-treating with COVID precautions lower risk. If you do decide to trick-or-treat, you should do so while following preventative measures detailed below by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also issued similar recommendations for Halloween safety.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued the following guidance on how to safely celebrate Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Tips for ALL groups and individuals include staying home if you are sick; maintaining social distancing of at least 6 feet; wearing a cloth mask that covers both the mouth and nose; and washing hands often or frequently using hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

Tips for trick-or-treaters and parents:

  • Share with your children that this year may be different than last but let them know some of the new ways you plan to celebrate and still have lots of fun.
  • Stay outside.
  • Talk with children about safety and physical distancing guidelines and expectations. Keep a 6-foot distance from others not in your group.
  • Participate in one-way trick-or-treating and guide children to stay to the right to ensure proper distancing.
  • Trick-or-treat with people you live with.
  • Avoid congregating in groups around houses.
  • Wear a face mask covering both mouth and nose.
    • A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask.
    • Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask if wearing both causes difficulty breathing. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
  • Only go to houses with safety measures in place.
  • Check out halloween2020.org to find exciting activities and ways to celebrate Halloween this year based on levels of COVID risks in your area.
  • Consider a neighborhood costume parade; it is an easy way to keep safe space between children.

Tips for homeowners:

  • Use duct tape to mark 6-foot lines in front of home and leading to driveway/front door.
  • Position a distribution table between yourself and trick-or-treaters.
  • Distribute candy on a disinfected table to eliminate direct contact.
  • Consider handing out candy in an open space where distancing is possible, rather than from the front door.           

The guidance also urges Michiganders to consider hosting virtual parties instead of in-person Halloween gatherings. If a gathering is hosted, it should follow current local/state health orders. In addition, distancing should be maintained, cloth masks should be worn, and food/party favors should be set out individually to prevent cross contamination.

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