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Michigan Officials Urge Families to Wear Proper Face Masks for Halloween Trick-or-Treating

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No, a Halloween mask doesn’t count

Decorative pumpkins filled with assorted Halloween chocolate candy made by Mars, Incorporated and the Hershey Company.
Make sure to sanitize well after picking out a piece of candy.
Leena Robinson/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.

With Halloween a little more than a month away, health officials across the country are sending out advanced warnings about how to manage COVID-19 while trick-or-treating. This week the CDC issued guidelines strongly advising against raucous adult parties and door-to-door trick-or-treating due to the risks of close contact between people from different households. Meanwhile, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services released its own recommendations this week for how to participate in Halloween festivities, if you must.

The guidance is broken down for those trolling the neighborhood for candy with their costumed children as well as advice for homeowners handing out fun-sized candy bars, as well as suggestion for how to throw a toned-down party.

Those recommendations include obvious ones like staying home when sick, washing hands, and ensuring families going door to door are packing copious amounts of 60 percent-plus alcohol sanitizer. Officials are also urging everyone to keep those face masks on. (Proper ones that secure over the nose and mouth, rather than a rubber mask you found a Party City.)

The department also advises that homeowners measure out six foot spaces and mark them with duct tape on the ground in front of their homes to encourage social distancing if a line forms. Home owners are encouraged to put a table between themselves and groups coming to their porch to maintain distance and sanitize the surface of that table regularly.

As for party throwers, the guidelines remind organizers that there’s currently a limit on indoor gatherings in the state to 10 people or less. Be certain to keep that hand sanitizer flowing and, please, don’t serve anything buffet-style. Buffets are over, thanks to COVID-19. The department also recommends consulting for recommendations on how to celebrate safely.

Michigan isn’t alone in urging caution when celebrating Halloween during the pandemic. San Francisco is strongly discouraging usual candy collecting activities this year and Los Angeles County briefly banned Halloween festivities all together, but dialed back the recommendations a day later. Dover, Delaware and Oskaloosa, Iowa also canceled trick-or-treat events for 2020.

MDHHS Halloween Guidance 2020

Oh No, Trick-Or-Treating Is Canceled [E]
San Francisco Officials ‘Strongly Discourage’ Halloween Trick-or-Treating, but Won’t Ban It [ESF]
CDC’s Halloween Guidelines Warn Against Typical Trick-Or-Treating [NPR]