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State recommends best practices for a safer Halloween

For a safer and fun Halloween, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services offers these tips and tricks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Because many of our young Michiganders are not yet eligible to be vaccinated, we urge everyone to take precautions to participate safely,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive. “There are still ways to celebrate safely, and the MDHHS guidance provides tips for trick-or-treaters and their parents along with homeowners who wish to pass out treats.”

Tips for all include getting the COVID-19 vaccine if age 12 or older, staying home if sick, wearing a mask that covers both the mouth and nose, washing hands often and/or using hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol, and coughing or sneezing into your elbow.

MDHHS also strongly advises adults and children ages 6 months and over to get their annual flu vaccine. Flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be administered in the same visit.

Other tips for trick-or-treaters and parents —

— Talk with children about Halloween safety and expectations;

— Stay outdoors for activities, particularly if participants are not vaccinated;

— Trick or treat in small groups;

— Avoid congregating in groups around houses;

— If indoors or in crowded outdoor settings, wear a face mask covering both mouth and nose (a costume mask 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.

Tips for homeowners to consider —

— Distribute candy on a table to eliminate direct contact;

— 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.

To maximize protection from COVID-19 and flu, MDHHS recommends age-eligible children and adults get vaccinated as soon as possible.

To find a vaccination site nearby, go online to VaccineFinder.org.

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