GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Two weeks out from Halloween, you're likely trying to make a game plan for your family.
With cases of COVID-19 on the rise in Michigan, you might be rethinking traditions like getting together with friends, hosting a party and going trick-or-treating.
To help you make informed decisions, 13 is ON YOUR SIDE with the risk levels involved with different Halloween activities.
Many typical Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. The good news is, there are safer alternatives out there.
But first, these are the activities you’ll want to avoid, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The list includes traditional trick-or-treating, when candy is handed out door to door, and trunk-or-treating with cars lined up in parking lots.
Crowded, indoor costume parties and haunted houses are also not advised, along with hayrides and tractor rides with people outside your household.
The CDC said moderate-risk activities include one-way trick-or-treating, meaning setting out individually wrapped goodie bags for families to take.
Going to a small, outdoor costume parade or party, walking in a one-way haunted forest, or visiting pumpkin patches and orchards are also on the moderate-risk list.
With these activities, remember to wear your mask and social distance more than 6-feet away from others.
“We recommend against having any type of Halloween gathering, inside parties, and things like that we often see," said Brian Hartl, the supervising epidemiologist at the Kent County Health Department. "Outside is better, obviously, but still maintain those precautions with social distancing and masking, because anytime a bunch of kids get together there is that risk for transmission. So keep that in mind, and obviously, if you're sick stay home and avoid going out trick-or-treating this year.”
Safer, lower-risk alternatives include carving pumpkins with the people in your household, or at a safe distance outside with neighbors and friends.
Don’t limit your decorating to just the pumpkins, deck out your house, too.
Instead of trick-or treating, maybe have a scavenger hunt with your family in or around your home.
You can also plan a Halloween movie night with your household, or put together a virtual costume contest.
Also, think about picking a costume that doesn't come with a mask, or at least planning to go without.
According to the CDC, costume masks aren’t a substitute for cloth masks, and shouldn’t be worn on top of one because it could make it hard to breathe.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.