The Whitmer administration in Lansing, to the surprise of many, is not ordering a halt to Halloween trick or treating this year. The state Health and Human Services Department believes there are safe ways for kids and parents to have fun but still stay safe.  The department is issuing a list of what it describes as “tips” so everyone can have a fun evening, in spite of the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

The state’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, says first and foremost you stay home and away from other people if you are exhibiting any signs of illness.  Social distancing with the standard 6-foot separation required by the state is an absolute. That’s followed by wearing a mask, not the decorative kind, but one that should help prevent the spread of the virus. And then washing hands frequently with appropriate 60 percent alcohol sanitizer.

Dr. Khaldun points out that the state, as well as the Centers for Disease Control, consider normal trick or treating to be a high-risk kind of activity. But while not recommended, the state won’t interfere. Alternate plans according to the state may be more appropriate.  But if heading out throughout the neighborhood is for you and the kids, you’re supposed to use one-way walking patterns and avoid congregating, especially with people you don’t know. The state also says parents or guardians should set up social distancing marks on sidewalks or porches with maybe duct tape. The guidance also recommends you consider hosting virtual parties instead of an in-person event. If a gathering is hosted, it must be limited to 10 people or less. You may have missed that earlier. That is spelled out in the Governors 176th Executive Order related to the virus. Dr. Khaldun says information about the outbreak is changing rapidly.

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