The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) released guidelines for trick-or-treating on Thursday, going against guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which recommended against the activity entirely.
In addition to standard coronavirus safety guidelines such as mask-wearing and social distancing, the MDHHS also recommended that homeowners passing out candy use duct tape to mark six-foot distances leading from where the candy is, distributing candy on a disinfected table to limit direct contact and handing out candy in an open space. For trick-or-treaters, it suggested participating in one-way trick-or-treating and only going to houses with safety measures in place.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
The MDHHS also encouraged hosting virtual parties and limiting in-person parties to 10 people or less. It also warned against wearing both a coronavirus cloth mask and a plastic costume mask if “wearing both causes difficulty breathing” and instead suggested wearing a Halloween-themed coronavirus mask.
The Michigan health department’s guidelines go against the CDC’s, which recommended against any Halloween activities where children go door-to-door, categorizing them as “high-risk.” The CDC also warns against “trunk-or-treat” events, where children collect candy from car trunks in parking lots rather than door-to-door.
The CDC did classify one-way trick-or-treating that uses individually wrapped goodie bags as “moderate risk,” although it suggested participating in “low-risk” activities such as socially-distanced pumpkin carving and hosting a virtual Halloween party.
Michigan currently has more than 120,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and a death toll of 6,708, according to the MDHHS. More than 90,000 cases are considered recovered.
Read the full MDHHS guidelines for trick-or-treating here.
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter at The Michigan Star and Star News Digital Media. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]