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State issues guidelines for celebrating Halloween safely during pandemic

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Posted at 4:28 PM, Sep 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-24 16:28:18-04

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has put together guidelines to help families celebrate Halloween safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tips for all groups include staying home if sick, maintaining social distancing of at least six feet, wearing a mask that covers both the mouth and nose and washing hands often or frequently using hand sanitizer.

“The way we celebrate Halloween in Michigan will be different this year due to COVID-19,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “However, there are still many ways to celebrate safely.”

Tips for trick-or-treaters and parents include:

  • 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.
  • Talk with children about safety and social distancing guidelines and expectations.
  • Keep a six-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 social distancing.
  • Trick-or-treat with people you live with.
  • Avoid congregating in groups around houses.
  • Wear a mask covering both the mouth and nose.
  • A costume mask 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.

The state recommends the following for homeowners:

  • Use duct tape to mark six-foot lines in front of the home and leading to driveway or 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.
  • Consider a neighborhood costume parade, as it is an easy way to keep safe space between children.

Guidance also suggests hosting virtual parties instead of in-person Halloween gatherings.

In-person gatherings should be limited to 10 people or less, social distancing should be maintained, masks should be worn and food and party favors should be set out individually.

The CDC also issued guidelines this week for celebrating the holiday.