Halloween is this weekend and while many are preparing for fun fall activities, the longtime tradition of trick or treating will be a little different this year in the wake of a very different reality. With flu season starting and the coronavirus pandemic far from under control, the Detroit Health Department is stressing safety for those taking part in the holiday fun.
Drafting guidance for families and business owners that stems from Govorner Whitmer’s former executive orders, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the city aims to ensure that all Halloween activities are conducted in the safest matter. The hope from city officials is to ensure there is no setback to the progress made in Detroit in the fight against the coronavirus.
Detroiters have done a great job following safety protocols and keeping our city among the lowest infection rates in Michigan,” shared Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “Community activities like Halloween present opportunities for spread, so the Health Department has laid out some very sensible guidelines for families to follow to keep our children safe this year.
“Given all the hard work by Detroiters in managing COVID-19 in our city, everyone deserves the opportunity to relax and celebrate, and Halloween is the perfect opportunity,” added Denise Fair, Chief Public Health Officer, Detroit Health Department. “That’s why we have developed guidelines to support residents and trick-or-treaters, as well as those establishments that are hosting events, so that everyone who chooses to celebrate may safely enjoy Halloween as we continue navigating COVID-19 and flu season.”
To ensure safety, here are some tips the health department suggests to be followed.
HOW YOU CAN STAY SAFE WHILE TRICK OR TREATING
For those looking to still take part in trick or treating, the Health Department outlines the following:
- If you are in any way feeling sick, stay home.
- While walking around the neighborhood, walk only with your family.
- Keep 6 feet from others as you approach porches. Wait 6 feet away off the porch for those ahead of you to leave.
- Wear your mask that covers both nose and mouth. Do not wear a cloth mask under your Halloween costume mask as it could cause difficulty breathing.
- Do not reach into a bag of candy because it will potentially spread your germs to others. Let the homeowner place the candy in your bag.
- When you get home, wash your hands. Set the candy aside for 24 hours before eating (make in advance pre-made cookies or other treats for your children)
If you’re looking to pass out candy to those trick or treating, the city also stresses the following:
- If you are feeling sick, turn your porch light off and don’t participate.
- Wear a mask that covers both nose and mouth
- Use gloves when handling candy.
- Place a distribution table between yourself and where children will walk up to your door.
- Put small bags of candy or treats spaced out on a disinfected table so children only touch the candy they take for themselves.
- Set up markers 6 feet apart leading to your door to remind trick-or-treaters to remain socially distant by using cones, tape, or other on your driveway or sidewalk.
SAFE CITY SPONSORED EVENTS
In an effort to protect younger residents, while keeping the trick or treating spirit alive, the Department of Neighborhoods has worked to set up “Drive-Up Candy Stations” at multiple locations throughout the city with some help from their sponsor, DTE Energy. The stations allow residents to pick-up candy from their car at select fire stations, all 11 Detroit Police precincts and Adams-Butzel Recreation Center.
“Each year, we, along with the City’s Police and Fire departments, look forward to seeing the smiling faces of Detroit children during our annual trunk-or-treat events,” said Raymond Solomon, General Manager, Department of Neighborhoods. “We could not let the kids down. So we came up with an alternate way to keep them safe and provide them with treats so they can still enjoy this fun holiday, thanks to the support of our title sponsor DTE.”
The Drive-Up Candy Stations will operate from 5-8 pm unless otherwise noted and masks must be worn, along with the following of all social distancing measures. There will be no walk-ups allowed so as to mitigate the spread of the virus, so residents will need a car to take part.
On top of all precincts and the Adams Butzel Recreation Center, some of the fire stations taking part include Engine 53, at 15127 Greenfield, Engine 30 at 16543 Meyers, and Engine 56, at 18601 Ryan Road. Click here for a complete list of all spots taking part in the modified trick or treating festivities.