Dowagiac City Council encourages safe trick-or-treating

Published 12:16 pm Tuesday, October 27, 2020

DOWAGIAC — Trick-or-treating was the topic of discussion during the Dowagiac City Council meeting Monday at City Hall.

The council passed a resolution during its Sept. 14 meeting to schedule trick-or-treating hours from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. Due to the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in and around Dowagiac, Mayor Pro-Tem Leon D. Laylin expressed concerns about safety during the event.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services,

As of Monday, Cass County reported 898 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 24 deaths while Berrien County reported 2,444 COVID-19 cases and 79 related deaths.

“I would strongly recommend against having our kids go door to door,” Laylin said. “If they wanted to partake in the different entities that are having closed parties, I would not be opposed to that. I would extremely encourage everyone to wear masks and practice social distancing because of the increase we’ve had in the county.”

Councilmember Danielle Lucas said that she thinks residents will find creative ways to practice social distancing guidelines.

“A lot of people are inventing ways to keep everyone safe,” Lucas said. “You have the chutes that people are putting on their porches so the candy will go down the chute to the trick or treaters. I just think people know that they’re not supposed to be so close to the kids and are trying to think of ways for the kids to stay safe and have fun.”

Mayor Don Lyons encourages families to have fun Saturday but to be cautious.

“We made a chute,” Lyons said. “We’re going to have some fun with it. “Everything suggests that limited contact outside is virtually safe. The problem is when you get inside with poor ventilation and extended contact.”

Though each family will choose how they celebrate Halloween, the CDC has listed a series of guidelines for those planning on participating in trick-or-treating.

For those handing out candy:

  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters
  • Give out treats outdoors, if possible
  • Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take
  • Wash hands before handling treats
  • Wear a mask

For trick or treaters

  • Wear a mask
  • Make cloth masks part of costume
  • A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask
  • Do not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. It can make breathing more difficult
  • Masks should not be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others not in same household
  • Indoors and outdoors, you are more likely to get or spread COVID-19 when you are in close contact with others for a long time
  • Wash hands
  • Bring hand sanitizer and use it after touching objects or other people
  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol
  • Parents must supervise young children using hand sanitizer
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when arriving home and before eating any treats