A popular Community Day in Newark that connected community members and University of Delaware students with nonprofits has been canceled because of UD’s new COVID-19 restrictions.
The event had been scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 19, for the UD Green, and announced with much enthusiasm after the pandemic canceled it last year. It usually draws thousands of visitors and dozens of community organizations looking for volunteers, awareness and other support.
On Thursday, the Newark Parks and Recreation Department and University of Delaware said that out of an abundance of caution, the event had been canceled.
The announcement said there was no way to police people entering Community Day because of the number of ways people could enter, and that mean the event could not satisfy the new restrictions.
UD now requires campus guests to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test to attend an event hosted on their property.
“After careful consideration, and in consultation with UD staff, we have decided to cancel Community Day once again,” said Joe Spadafino, director of Newark Parks and Recreation, in the announcement. “We are disappointed, but know the health of our community is more important and take seriously the safety of Newark families, University students, vendors, performers and staff.”
Timothy Dowling, director of Student Health Services at UD, said, “The sheer volume of entry points for the planned Community Day simply didn’t allow us to meet that standard and effectively ensure the safety of everyone involved.”
The cancellation is a blow to many who want to see the world return to normal, but it follows a trend of organizations like The Grand Opera House and Delaware Art Museum requiring proof of vaccination they emphasize is to protect staff, visitors and the wider community.
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Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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