The leaves are changing, the air is getting colder, and everything seems to have an extra dash of pumpkin spice. As with every October, kids young and old are getting excited about Halloween. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, this year’s Halloween celebrations MUST be different. We want everyone to enjoy this time of year, and we want all of our students to remain safe and continue to be a positive presence in the community.
If you live in Narragansett or South Kingstown, please be aware that the police departments in those communities are partnering with the Rhode Island State Police and the Rhode Island Department of Health to ensure that you and local community members remain safe. They plan to strictly enforce state laws, local ordinances, and state health executive orders to prevent potentially dangerous situations. For those living on campus, we expect you to continue to follow University and state regulations regarding face coverings, physical distancing and large-group or multiple small-group gatherings.
With Halloween coming on Saturday, we ask all of our students to please take extra care when driving on campus and in your communities, especially in your local neighborhoods. The days are getting shorter and there may be many more people walking out and about in the dark.
With EVERYTHING being different this year, we thought it might be helpful to share some Do’s & Don’ts:
• Wear a mask! Not just a Halloween costume. Incorporate your COVID-19 face covering into your costume. Be creative!
• Celebrate with a small group of friends — Stay in your pod and/or your home! Avoid large groups or multiple groups.
• Think carefully about your costume — make good choices. Remember another person’s culture is not a costume! Halloween should be fun, not hurtful.
• Look out for each other — make sure you stay safe. Watch your friends, and don’t leave anyone behind!
• Register for the events on campus this weekend! Join in the fun: You can register at the University’s Events Calendar, https://events.uri.edu/calendar/day/2020/10/30 and https://events.uri.edu/calendar/day/2020/10/31.
• Gather in large groups! Remember, if you gather with more than 15 people you could face charges from state, local and University law enforcement agencies. The Rhode Island Department of Health will also work with police, and will fine individuals who violate state executive orders.
• Attend events (on or off campus) where you cannot wear a mask and/or maintain social distancing. Remember, students who violate local and state laws and executive orders could face sanctions from the University, including suspension.
• Drink and drive. Law enforcement patrols will be out and looking for drunk drivers. Make a safe choice — Uber, Lyft, or use a designated driver.
• Hang out with people who are not in your pod (roommates, close friends, people you know are virus-free).
• People from other schools, towns, or even neighborhoods into your home!
Positive cases at URI have been declining in recent weeks thanks to everyone’s vigilance. Let’s keep the downward trend going so we can finish the semester as scheduled — with everyone safe and healthy. If the health guidelines are not followed, we could still be forced to switch to online learning and activities if we see a surge in positive COVID-19 cases following this weekend.
Do not jeopardize your semester for one weekend.
Be careful, follow the health guidelines, look out for each other, and make good choices! #rhodytogether