Michigan offers guidance for trick-or-treating amid COVID-19

The state of Michigan has come out with guidance on Halloween amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the state health department is offering some helpful tips to allow you to trick-or-treat safely.

“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. The guidance MDHHS issued today provides tips for trick-or-treaters and their parents along with homeowners who wish to hand out treats.” 

Earlier this week, the CDC said trick-or-treating was among the highest risk activities to transmit COVID-19. 

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), you can still safely enjoy the holiday if everyone is following the rules.

In other words, gone are the days of children running a zig-zag route across the neighborhood. File in an orderly line, going the same direction, six feet apart.

While it may seem obvious, if you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.

But that's not all. The MDHHS advises parents to discuss that Halloween will be different and to discuss social distancing guidelines.

Among other steps you can take:

  • 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 (note - a Halloween mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask)
  • If your mask over your protective cloth mask causes breathing problems, don't wear the Halloween mask.
  • Only go to houses with safety measures in place.

As for those of us handing out candy this year, there are some easy steps to follow as well.

  • Mark six feet with duct tape
  • 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. 

You can also consider creating a candy chute to slide the candy down, as this dad did.

Michigan residents are also urged to forego traditional Halloween parties for virtual ones. But if one is hosted, it should be 10 people or less with social distancing maintained.