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With precautions, Halloween can still be fun for everyone

The number-one question on children’s minds right now is what trick-or-treating is going to look like in a few weeks.

Talking with my granddaughters last weekend, they shared their plans for the big night, including what they were dressing up like this year.

While they were plotting and planning for a night of candy bars and apples, their parents and grandparents were wondering whether there even will be trick-or-treating. And, if so, what kind of stipulations will there be regarding it?

While nothing locally has yet been announced, this week, officials with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services did suggest some guidelines for Halloween activities.

Admittedly, “the way we celebrate Halloween in Michigan will be different this year due to COVID-19,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “However, there are still many ways to celebrate safely.”

MDHHS recommendations include staying home if you are not feeling well, maintaining social distancing from others while outside, wearing a mask, and either washing your hands or using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol frequently.

Officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also offered ideas about the upcoming holiday. They suggest:

• 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.

• 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.

• Wear a face mask covering both mouth and nose (officials explained that a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask.)

• Only go to houses with safety measures in place.

CDC officials also suggested homeowners who want to pass out treats also should take certain precautions. They suggested moving outside to pass out candy this year, rather than at the front door.

They also suggested using duct tape to mark off six foot lines in front of the candy station to space the little goblins apart from others.

Put a piece of furniture, such as a table, between you and the trick-or-treaters.

Halloween is a fun time for youth, and I would hate to see it curtailed or done away this year.

I would hope by now we all understand the importance of being respectful of others by following mask protocols and other safety standards.

I would hope that, by all of us doing that, we can still make Halloween a fun and exciting time for all those little ghosts and goblins we love this year.

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