Halloween update: Flint warns residents to avoid trick-or-treating door-to-door, urges families to celebrate at events following safety protocols

FLINT, Michigan—Given the dramatically increasing number of COVID-19 cases, the City of Flint is warning residents not to go door-to-door trick-or-treating. Instead, families are encouraged to celebrate Halloween by attending events that follow COVID safety protocols.

Mayor Sheldon Neeley is issuing the warning as part of the city’s ongoing and proactive response to slow the spread of coronavirus, and upon the advice of Dr. Lawrence Reynolds, medical advisor for the City of Flint, and Dr. Debra Furr-Holden, associate dean for Public Health Integration at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine in Flint.

Mayor Neeley said families still can celebrate with their children by attending trick-or-treat events that follow recommended safety protocols. Five community events are being co-hosted by Mayor Neeley and other businesses, churches and organizations also have stepped up to offer safe alternatives.

“The number of COVID-19 cases locally is at an all-time high. We can still celebrate Halloween, but it is important to do so in a safe way,” Mayor Neeley said. “Going door-to-door is too big of a risk for you, your family, your neighbors and our entire community.”

The five family-friendly events being co-hosted by Mayor Neeley on on Oct. 31, 2020 are:

  • • Noon in Sarvis Park, 4000 Wisner Street. Candy hunt and parade hosted by Sarvis Park Neighborhood Association.
  • • 4:30-5:30 p.m. at Latinx Technology and Community Center, 2101 Lewis St.
  • • 4:30-6 p.m. at Bethel United Methodist Church, 1309 N. Ballenger Highway.
  • • 4:30-6 p.m. at Flint Development Center, 4121 Martin Luther King Ave.
  • • 5:30-7 p.m. at Berston Field House, 3300 N. Saginaw St., in partnership with state Rep. Cynthia Neeley and County Commissioner Bryant Nolden.

Bedrock Apparel also is hosting a drive-through candy giveaway at the Capitol Theatre and several local churches also are hosting events with additional safety protocols.

The number of COVID-19 cases is spiking in the city, county and state. State tracking data shows the county with 1,539 cases so far this month, already 55 percent more cases than the previous monthly high (which was April with 992 cases).

More than 100 new cases were reported in Flint from Friday to Tuesday. The total number of Flint cases is 1,145, according to the Genesee County Health Department. Countywide, the health department reports 5,862 total confirmed cases.

“This is a highly contagious disease that can result in death or permanent disability — and it is once again spreading quickly and aggressively. It is urgent that families again limit their exposure to anyone outside their household starting immediately,” Dr. Reynolds said.

“Going door-to-door is especially problematic given the increasing number of COVID-19 cases being reported. One person could infect an entire neighborhood and become a super-spreader,” said Dr. Furr-Holden, an epidemiologist.

The warning is not a legal requirement, but Mayor Neeley urges all residents to take this necessary precaution to protect themselves and their loved ones.