Trick-or-Treating on the Lawn this year has been canceled, per an email sent to Lawn and Range residents Friday evening from interim Dean of Students Julie Caruccio and Gay Perez, assistant vice president of student affairs. The decision was made following guidance from public health experts in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to children and high-risk individuals in the Charlottesville community.
“While this event is traditionally held outdoors, the University’s public health advisors believe bringing so many unvaccinated children together in this way would increase the risk of spreading the virus in our community and the surrounding area,” Carrucio said.
As of Oct. 7, juveniles represent 16 percent of total cases nationally — more than 6 million cases have been reported since the onset of the pandemic. In the Blue Ridge Health District, individuals aged 0 to 19 account for more than 21 percent of COVID-19 cases. The COVID-19 vaccine is currently only available to adolescents age 12 and older.
As an alternative to the much-anticipated event, Caruccio said the University is working with local groups to identify opportunities to support other planned efforts in the community.
“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 get vaccinated, first,” Caruccio said.
As of Wednesday there are 57 active cases of COVID-19 in the University community and 57 total in-house COVID-19 patients at U.Va. Health.