Halloween Safety During the Pandemic

In an effort to keep Macomb County families safe while trick-or-treating and celebrating Halloween this year, we offer these expert tips.

Halloween decorations and candy on a table

Halloween 2020 isn’t going to look the same as it has in years past.

In addition to Halloween makeup, trick-or-treaters this year will likely come adorned with face masks and all of the costumed characters meant to be spooky will probably keep their distance.

Despite these changes, Halloween is still on in Michigan and with a few minor adjustments to your traditions, you can ensure the safety and health of all those around you. Here are five simple precautions that you can take in Macomb County and beyond.

1. Adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols

The state of Michigan has outlined some very clear protocols families should follow during the coronavirus pandemic. Among the most important are social distancing and the proper use of face masks when around others.

William Ridella, the director of the Macomb County Health Department, adds that other key recommendations to help keep Halloween safe this year include staying home if you are sick, avoiding large gatherings and washing or sanitizing hands often.

“The way we celebrate Halloween in southeast Michigan will be different due to COVID-19, especially with the recent increase in positive cases we have been experiencing throughout the state,” he says. “We all need to follow these important preventive measures that are proven and effective ways to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities.”

It is also important to note that Halloween masks are not a viable substitute for face masks.

2. Consider trick-or-treating alternatives

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, trick-or-treating and trunk-or-treating are considered high-risk activities (along with costume parties and hayrides).

You can avoid the risk this year but throwing a small open-air costume parade, visiting an outdoor orchard or having a Halloween scavenger hunt instead. Visit Halloween2020.org for more ideas.

3. Keep at a safe distance

If you do choose to hit the streets this year, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services suggests that parents talk to their kids about social distancing and that mom and dad expect the kids to follow the rules.

You can also participate in one-way trick-or-treating so that you aren’t passing fellow trick-or-treaters walking in the opposite direction and avoid congregating around one house — remember, you can always return to the good houses later.

4. Watch for candy-passing protocols

For houses that are passing out candy this year, MDHHS suggests putting down duct tape to mark down 6-foot spacing indicators in front of their homes to keep trick-or-treaters spread out.

In addition, they should also consider distributing candy on a table in an open space that allows social distancing, rather than from their front door.

Trick-or-treaters are urged to avoid houses that don’t adhere to these suggestions.

5. Be smart when planning parties

Instead of in-person gatherings, MDHHS encourages Michiganders to throw virtual Halloween parties rather than in-person gatherings.

If an in-person gathering cannot be avoided, hosts should limit guests to 10 people or less and enforce social distancing and mask protocols. Food and party favors should be set out individually to prevent cross contamination.

For more information on celebrating Halloween in Macomb County, visit the Department of Planning & Economic Development online at Make Macomb Your Home.

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