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City of Grand Rapids releases Halloween recommendations, tips amid COVID-19

The City of Grand Rapids is asking its constituents to stay flexible and proactive when it comes to trick-or-testing amid COVID-19.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Halloween may look a little different this year, but the City of Grand Rapids doesn’t want that to spoil the holiday’s fun.

While some cities throughout the country have canceled trick-or-treating, the tradition is still very much allowed in Grand Rapids. However, the city is asking its constituents to stay flexible and proactive when it comes to trick-or-treating amid COVID-19. 

On Monday, the city posted a series of recommendations from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Kent County Health Department and the Grand Rapids Police Department. They say there are many ways to celebrate Halloween safety.

Below is a list of the city’s recommendations:

For Homeowners 

  • Do not hand out candy if you are sick.
  • Wear a face mask covering both your mouth and nose.
  • Use duct tape to mark 6-foot lines in front of your home and leading to driveway/front door.
  • Position a distribution table between yourself and trick or treaters.
  • Distribute candy on disinfected table to eliminate direct contact.
  • Wash hands often.
  • Consider handing out candy in an open space where 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.

 For parents and Trick-or-Treaters

  • Share with your children that this year may be different than last but let them know some of the new ways you plan to celebrate and still have lots of fun.
  • Stay home if sick.
  • Talk with your children about safety and social distancing guidelines and expectations. Keep a 6-foot distance from others not in your family group.
  • Trick or treat with the people you live with.
  • Participate in one-way trick or treating and guide children to stay to the right to ensure social distancing.
  • Avoid congregating in groups around houses.
  • Carry a flashlight at night and ensure your children have reflective clothing.
  • Wear a face mask covering 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.

For safe Halloween gatherings 

  • Only have a few people over to limit the possibility of crowding. Indoor gatherings over 10 people are prohibited by EO 2020-176.
  • Have all food and party favors set out individually to prevent cross contamination. (Avoid buffet style or shared food and drinks.)
  • Make sure there are plenty of areas with hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Stay 6 feet away from others.
  • Wear a fun face mask, instead of a costume mask.
  • Consider refraining from Halloween gatherings and use an online meeting platform instead.

From the Grand Rapids Police Department

  • Recommended trick or treating hours are 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Turn on your front porch light at dusk
  • Only visit homes with a lit front porch light
  • Trick or treat with a parent or adult chaperone
  • Wear light-colored or reflective clothing after dusk
  • Consider going house to house on the same side of the street and then double back on the other side. This will reduce the need to cross the street.
  • Walk on sidewalks. If you must walk in the street, walk on the left side facing traffic.
  • Do not go into any stranger’s home or car even if you are offered candy
  • Do not eat any candy or other food until it has been examined by an adult
  • Drivers should be especially aware and observant when driving through residential neighborhoods

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