DEARBORN – As the Center for Disease Control and Prevention considers trick-or-treating a high-risk activity for contracting COVID-19, city officials are discouraging residents from participating this year, instead recommending that households find safer alternatives to celebrating the holiday in 2020.
“We understand that trick-or-treating is an important tradition for many families,” Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. said. “However, maintaining public health is vital and we need to avoid spreading this deadly disease as much as possible.”
Instead of trick-or-treating or trunk-or-treating, city officials recommend residents find fun, alternative ways to celebrate the holiday. This could include hosting a virtual costume party, participating in a socially distanced scavenger hunt, carving pumpkins, and having a Halloween-themed movie night with those in your household.
For those who go trick-or-treating, O’Reilly said there is no way to make it completely safe; however, there are some guidelines to make it less risky.
“While we feel residents should not trick-or-treat this year, there are several ways to mitigate risk, although there is no foolproof way to keep it entirely safe,” O’Reilly said.
For those who go trick-or-treating, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services offers several guidelines for parents with trick-or-treaters and for homeowners passing out candy. For example, trick-or-treaters and those handing out candy should wear masks and stay six feet apart as much as possible.
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 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 www.halloween2020.org to find exciting activities and ways to celebrate Halloween this year based on levels of COVID-19 risks in your area.
Tips for homeowners
• Use duct tape to mark six-foot lines in front of 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; it is an easy way to keep safe space between children.
For the CDC guidelines surrounding Halloween and a full list of safer alternatives to trick-or-treating go to https://bit.ly/3cEdJaT.