The University of Virginia’s annual Trick-or-Treating on the Lawn event will not occur this year in recognition of the potential risk posed to children who are not yet able to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The University is planning alternate virtual events to celebrate the holiday.
The Office of the Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer first communicated the message last week to residents of the Lawn, who traditionally host thousands of children for the holiday each year.
“Following guidance from our public health experts, and in an effort to reduce potential risk to children in the community who cannot yet get vaccinated for COVID, as well as others who are vulnerable, Trick-or-Treating on the Lawn will not occur this year,” the message read.
“While this event is traditionally held outdoors, the University’s public health advisers believe bringing so many unvaccinated children together in this way would increase the risk spreading the virus in our community and the surrounding area.
“We know this is disappointing, but we also know you understand that we must put the health of the Charlottesville community, particularly children who cannot yet get vaccinated, first,” message went on.
In lieu of the traditional event, the University is developing a number of alternative ways for students to celebrate and support the local community.
The UVA community will be invited to participate in a virtual Halloween costume contest.
Guest judges will select winners in a few categories, including “Most Creative” and “Most UVA School Spirited,” and there will be prizes. Information about how to get involved will be forthcoming.
UVA is also working with several community partners to arrange donations of funds and candy to support local children. Interested students and student groups can make donations by clicking this link.
UVA is also inviting students who are interested in assembling treat bags to email email@example.com.