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Trick-Or-Treating Makes Detroit’s List of High-Risk Halloween Activities

Health experts recommend staying home this year or participating in one-way trick-or-treating with prepackaged goodie bags

Unrecognizable boy wearing modern Halloween costume demonstrating plastic Jack O’ Lantern basket for candies while trick-or-treating SeventyFour/Shutterstock
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

As Michigan approaches new record highs for daily COVID-19 cases, the City of Detroit has issued its own guidance for how to more safely celebrate Halloween. Among the recommendations, city health officials are discouraging residents from participating in traditional activities like door-to-door and trunk-to-trunk trick-or-treating, indoor costume parties, and visiting haunted houses “where people may be crowded together and screaming.”

The guidance follows similar recommendations from the state, in advising that costume masks are not a substitute for a cloth or medical-grade mask over the nose and mouth. The city also adds that wearing a cloth mask under a costume mask may be dangerous if it restricts breathing. When in doubt, just wear the cloth mask.

As an alternative to the standard October celebrations, the city suggests focusing on low-risk activities in one’s own household such as pumpkin carving or hosting a socially distanced, outdoor carving party with neighbors. Virtual costume contests, in-home Halloween scavenger hunts, and household movie nights are also considered low-risk ways to have fun.

For those who still want to party or trick-or-treat, health officials urge people to moderate the risks of spreading novel coronavirus by wearing a mask and socially distancing. For families who plan to trick-or-treat, they should do so only with people from their household. Homes that plan to hand out candy should use gloves and a mask when handling candy and try setting out individually wrapped goodie bags outdoors to avoid direct contact; be sure to disinfect any high-traffic areas and put out markers to maintain six-feet of social distance. Any costume parties or movie nights with people from other households should also only take place outdoors with a mask.

Above all, people who are feeling sick or have been sick should stay home and turn their porch lights off.

Looking for the best ways to hand out candy this year? Eater asked health experts about the best methods.

Detroit Public Guidance for Halloween 2020

Michigan Officials Urge Families to Wear Proper Face Masks for Halloween Trick-or-Treating [ED]
We Asked Health Experts About the Safest Methods for Trick-or-Treating in 2020 [E]
All Holidays Coverage [E]