Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Sets Trick-or-Treating Guidelines

. October 13, 2020.
Michigan Halloween safety
Stock photo courtesy of olia danilevich

Wondering what Halloween will be like during a pandemic? The MDHHS and CDC have set some guidelines to consider while trick-or-treating.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued guidance on how to safely celebrate this Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure the safety of our community, the MDHHS has provided a few ways to ensure the safety of parents and trick-or-treaters alike.

Advice for groups include staying home if you are stick, maintaining social distancing protocols, wearing a cloth mask that covers both mouth and nose (and wearing cloth masks under costume masks), and washing hands frequently or using hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also issued recommendations for Halloween. Trick-or-treating is considered a high-risk activity, and the CDC offers alternatives to consider as well as safety tips for parents and children who choose to trick-or-treat.

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.
  • 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 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.

Tips for homeowners:

  • Use duct tape to mark six-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.
  • Consider a neighborhood costume parade; it is an easy way to keep safe space between children.

Guidance also urges Michiganders to consider hosting virtual parties instead of in-person Halloween gatherings. If in-person gatherings are hosted, please limit capacity to 10 people or less per Executive Order 2020-176, maintain social distancing, and food and party favors should be set out individually to prevent cross-contamination.

Please stay safe during this spooky season!