EAST LANSING, Mich. — Pending any further guidance from local public health officials, trick-or-treating hours in the residential neighborhoods of East Lansing are currently expected to remain in place from 6-8 p.m. on Halloween night (Saturday, Oct. 31).
While trick-or-treating hours are currently expected to remain in place, it is important to note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have identified traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating as one of the higher-risk Halloween activities for spreading COVID-19. Community members are encouraged to view the CDC’s guidance to learn more about safer, alternative ways to celebrate Halloween: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween.
Please note that Halloween is not a City-sponsored event and trick-or-treating is an individual choice during the COVID-19 pandemic. For parents and children who choose to trick-or-treat, here are some important safety tips from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS):
- Stay home if you are sick.
- 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.
- Carry a flashlight at night and ensure your children have reflective clothing.
- Wear a face mask that covers both your 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.
- Inspect candy.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol, especially before eating or after coughing/sneezing, and as soon as you return home.
- Check out halloween2020.org to find exciting activities and ways to celebrate Halloween this year based on levels of COVID risks in your area.
Additionally, MDHHS has issued recommendations for homeowners who choose to pass out candy:
- Do not hand out candy if you are sick.
- Wear a face mask covering both your mouth and nose.
- Use duct tape to mark six-foot lines in front of your home and leading to the driveway/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 physical 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.
Homeowners who do not feel comfortable distributing candy should keep their porch lights off and, as always, motorists should drive with extreme caution during trick-or-treat hours.
The MDHHS also encourages individuals to host virtual parties instead of in-person Halloween gatherings. Indoor social gatherings are currently restricted to no more than 10 people from different households per an Ingham County Health Department emergency order and outdoor social gatherings in a large part of East Lansing are currently restricted to no more than 10 people per a new Ingham County Health Department emergency order. All gatherings, indoors and out, must be designed to ensure that people from different households maintain a social distance of at least six feet. View additional safety guidelines for gatherings issued by the MDHHS.