FLINT, MICH. – With cases of COVID-19 still surging throughout Michigan, the Genesee County Health Department and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are offering tips on how to safely celebrate Halloween this year.

“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, Michigan’s 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.”

Trick-or-treaters and parents are advised to stay outdoors for activities, particularly if participants are not vaccinated; trick or treat in small groups; avoid congregating in groups around houses; wear a face mask covering if indoors or in crowded settings (a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth or surgical mask); and talk with children about Halloween safety and expectations.

“The Genesee County Health Department encourages residents to have a happy, safe Halloween,” said Kayleigh Blaney, deputy health officer at the GCHD. “Due to current case rates, it is preferable to hold gatherings outside when possible/weather permitting.  As with any large group activities in small indoor spaces, mask use is recommended.”

Homeowners are encouraged by MDHHS to consider distributing candy on a table to eliminate direct contact and handing out candy in an open space where distancing is possible, rather than from the front door.

Age-eligible adults and children are recommended to get both their COVID-19 and annual flu vaccines, which can be administered in the same visit.

Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in the Flint area, outpacing the statewide rate. The current surge is largely driven by unvaccinated individuals and the more transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19.

Andrew Roth is a reporter and photographer covering politics and policy in Michigan, as well technology, culture and their convergence. Andrew is a journalism student at Michigan State University and first...