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Pending Massachusetts graduates get good news: State guidance allows indoor, outdoor graduations

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Katie Lannan

New state guidance sets out minimum safety standards for commencements and graduations held by colleges, universities and public and private K-12 schools, allowing the ceremonies to be held inside or outside this year, “in event spaces, ballrooms, private clubs and party rooms, public places, and stadiums, arenas, and ball parks.”

The ceremony must adhere to the capacity limits for the venue they are using and be held in a space that can accommodate six-foot separation between groups. No food or drink are allowed, and guests are limited to six per graduate and must register in advance and attest that they will not attend if they have COVID-19 symptoms or test positive, close contact with an infected person, or are under a doctor or public health official’s order to isolate or quarantine. Masks are required, and can only be removed by graduates at designated photograph locations and by commencement speakers during their remarks as long as they are at least six feet from the audience.

The guidance, issued by the Department of Labor Standards in consultation with the Department of Public Health, took effect Monday. It also lists required hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

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