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Royal Oak, Clawson officials advise caution Halloween night

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published October 20, 2020

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ROYAL OAK/CLAWSON — As Halloween is a national holiday, local jurisdictions can neither legislate nor cancel Halloween.

Local officials can, however, encourage anyone planning to trick-or-trick Oct. 31 to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for safety in the midst of a global pandemic.

In the cities of Clawson and Royal Oak, trick-or-treat hours are not set by the city, but roughly take place from 6 to 8 p.m.

“Children should wear a face covering at all times. They also advise kids should stay in their own neighborhood, stay in groups that are small, and keep moving to give others space,” Royal Oak City Manager Paul Brake said. “By having activities outdoors, it is safer.”

He also recommended carrying hand sanitizer to kill germs on the go and that parents keep sick kids home.

“Whoever is looking at giving out candy, we advise that they should space candy out on a table as opposed to using a bowl and for anyone who chooses not to participate to not have their lights on,” Brake said.

While Royal Oak’s signature Halloween event, the Halloween Spooktacular, is canceled this year, Brake said the city is dovetailing Halloween falling on a Saturday with offering tours of the new nature trails and amenities at Normandy Oaks Park.

“The park is still under construction, but there’s going to be a new splash pad, play area, picnic area and more opening this spring,” he said. “There will be a couple opportunities to see the park, and we’ll use kind of a Halloween theme and have goody bags.”

Two hourlong time slots from noon to 1 p.m. and from 1 to 2 p.m. will be available Oct. 31, and each group will be limited to the first 100 people. Masks and social distancing guidelines will be enforced.

Normandy Oaks Park is located at 4234 Delemere Blvd., near Normandy Road and Coolidge Highway.

Clawson City Manager Michael Smith said the city was working on circulating trick-or-treating safety information in its publication, Clawson Highlights.

“There are different ways people can (hand out candy). I’ve seen ideas like taping pieces of candy to sticks in your front yard for kids to come by and pick them off or special tubes to keep your social distance,” Smith said. “The CDC is recommending as well that Halloween masks don’t work the same way as a normal mask.”

He said the decision ultimately comes down to residents as to what extent they are comfortable with in participating in the holiday. Some families will treat-or-treat from house to house, while others will stage at-home festivities such as pumpkin carving and Halloween movies.

Clawson Police Chief Scott Sarvello said that Clawson police will be out in neighborhoods making sure that everyone is safe and waving to residents.

According to CDC guidelines, homeowners should avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters, give out treats outdoors, set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take, wash hands before handling treats and wear a mask.

The CDC also recommends that trick-or-treaters make their cloth mask part of their costume, not substitute a costume mask for a cloth mask, do not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask because it can make breathing more difficult, and that masks should not be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing.

It advises that hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol should be used after touching objects or other people, and that families should wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds upon returning home and before eating any treats.

Additionally, individuals should stay 6 feet away from others who do not live with them.

For those who do not feel comfortable participating in trick-or-treating on Halloween, the CDC recommends a Halloween scavenger hunt for children to find treats in and around the home, an outdoor costume parade, an outdoor Halloween movie night with friends or neighbors, or an indoor Halloween movie night with household members.

For more information, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus.

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