City issues new guidelines, offers Halloween drive up sites to help children trick or treat safely

  • Health Department Safety guidelines to help families and businesses stay COVID safeavailable at
  • Chief Public Health Officer discourages door-to-door trick or treating
  • City offers drive-up locations to provide safer alternative

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and start of the flu season, the Detroit Health Department is working to ensure costumes are the only thing scary about Halloween 2020. The Health Department has drafted guidance for families and business owners — sourced from the Governor’s executive orders and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — and a list of safe alternatives for residents to enjoy Halloween this year. The goal is to ensure revelers have fun with their health and safety in mind.

“Detroiters have done a great job following safety protocols and keeping our city among the lowest infection rates in Michigan,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Community activities like Halloween present opportunities for spread, so the Health Department has laid out some very sensible guidelines for families to follow to keep our children safe this year.”

“Given all the hard work by Detroiters in managing COVID-19 in our city, everyone deserves the opportunity to relax and celebrate, and Halloween is the perfect opportunity,” said Denise Fair, Chief Public Health Officer, Detroit Health Department. “That’s why we have developed guidelines to support residents and trick-or-treaters, as well as those establishments that are hosting events, so that everyone who chooses to celebrate may safely enjoy Halloween as we continue navigating COVID-19 and flu season.”

Fair broke down Halloween activities into three basic categories based on their level of risk:

  • Low risk activities: Outdoor celebrations such as pumpkin carving, decorating the outside of your home or even hosting a Halloween scavenger hunt.
  • A moderate risk: Make ‘Grab ‘n Go’ goodie bags. To ensure social distancing you could line them up on a table on your porch, ready to go. You could also host an outdoor costume parade or party or even host an outdoor movie night.
  • High risk activities: Door-to-door Trick- or-Treating; Trunk-or-treating; or Indoor activities like costume parties or haunted houses. Even hayrides and tractor rides with people that are not in your own household are considered high risk.

Here are 6 rules to follow if you do choose to trick or treat:

  1. If you are in any way feeling sick, stay home.
  2. While walking around the neighborhood, walk only with your family.
  3. Keep 6 feet from others as you approach porches. Wait 6 feet away off the porch for those ahead of you to leave.
  4. Wear your mask that covers both nose and mouth. Do not wear a cloth mask under your Halloween costume mask as it could cause difficulty breathing.
  5. Do not reach into a bag of candy because it will potentially spread your germs to others. Let the homeowner place the candy in your bag.
  6. When you get home, wash your hands. Set the candy aside for 24 hours before eating (make in advance pre-made cookies or other treats for your children)

Here are 6 rules for adults who pass out candy on Halloween:

  1. If you are feeling sick, turn your porch light off and don’t participate.
  2. Wear a mask that covers both nose and mouth
  3. Use gloves when handling candy.
  4. Place a distribution table between yourself and where children will walk up to your door.
  5. Put small bags of candy or treats spaced out on a disinfected table so children only touch the candy they take for themselves.
  6. Set up markers 6 feet apart leading to your door to remind trick-or-treaters to remain socially distant by using cones or making tape or other on your driveway or sidewalk.

Here are the rules for businesses who are hosting a Halloween event:

  • Most mirror COVID-19 guidelines currently in place for keeping patrons safe at bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
    • A business can host an outdoor gathering. Capacity is limited to 30 people per 1,000 square feet up to a maximum of 1,000.
    • If you’re a business and want to host a gathering indoors, capacity is limited to 20 people per 1,000 square feet with a maximum of 500.
  • These guidelines are posted at

Anyone who has COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone with the virus is advised by the Health Department to avoid in-person Halloween festivities, forego handing out candy and stay home if they are feeling sick.

Safer City-Sponsored Activities

The City also has made plans to protect its youngest residents by suspending trunk-or-treat activities this year. The Department of Neighborhoods (DON) has partnered with City departments to donate candy for this year’s first-ever Drive-Up Candy Stations. On Halloween, residents may bring their children by car to pick up treats from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at select fire stations, all 11 Detroit Police precincts and Adams-Butzel Recreation Center. Masks are required and social distancing protocols will be followed. No walk-ups allowed.

“Each year, we, along with the City’s Police and Fire departments, look forward to seeing the smiling faces of Detroit children during our annual trunk-or-treat events,” said Raymond Solomon, General Manager, Department of Neighborhoods. “We could not let the kids down. So we came up with an alternate way to keep them safe and provide them with treats so they can still enjoy this fun holiday, thanks to the support of our title sponsor DTE.”

“At DTE, we strive to be a force for growth in the communities where we live and serve, and our commitment begins and ends with promoting the health and well-being of our friends, family members and neighbors,” said Nancy Moody, vice president of Public Affairs at DTE Energy. “As parents and children in the city look ahead to Halloween, we ask that they join us in living DTE's philosophy of 200% accountability – being 100% accountable for their safety and 100% accountable for the safety of everyone around them – as we make our way through an unconventional, but still sweet, trick-or-treating experience together.”

“We urge everyone to follow our guidance to keep everyone as safe as possible, especially our youngest residents, and we wish everyone a happy, healthy Halloween,” Fair said.

For more information on Detroit Health Department Halloween guidelines and resources, visit

City of Detroit Halloween in the D Drive-Up Candy Stations: Oct. 31 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. (unless otherwise noted)

At all locations, masks are required and social distancing protocols will be followed. Under safety protocols, candy will be distributed to individuals in cars only. No Walk-Ups Allowed.

Parks and Recreation

  • Adams Butzel Recreation Center, 10500 Lyndon

Detroit Police Department

  • 2nd Precinct, 13530 Lesure
  • 3rd Precinct, 2875 W. Grand Blvd.
  • 4th Precinct, 4700 W. Fort Street
  • 5th Precinct, 3500 Conner Street
  • 6th Precinct, 11405 Warwick
  • 7th Precinct, 3501 Chene
  • 8th Precinct, 21555 W McNichols Road
  • 9th Precinct, 11187 Gratiot
  • 10th Precinct, 12000 Livernois Avenue
  • 11th Precinct, 5100 Nevada
    • Halloween experience | October 28 - 31 from 6 - 8 p.m. Includes drive-in movie, $5 donation per car Candy Drive-Up Station | October 31 from 2 - 4 p.m.
  • 12th Precinct, 1441 West Seven Mile Road

Detroit Fire Department (Select Locations)

  • Engine 53, 15127 Greenfield (D1)
  • Engine 30, 16543 Meyers (D2)
  • Engine 56, 18601 Ryan Road (D3)
  • Engine 58, 10801 Whittier (D4)
  • Engine 41, 5000 Rohns (D5)
  • Engine 48, 2300 S. Fort Street (D6)
  • Engine 42, 6324 W. Chicago (D7)


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