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Ohio issues guidance for high school graduation during coronavirus

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said the state is offering guidance on how high schools can go about hold graduation ceremonies in the coming weeks.

The month of May usually means that high school graduation ceremonies are around the corner.

But due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, such celebrations will look a lot different this year.

With mass gatherings of more than 10 people still prohibited in the state, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine asked the state's departments of education and health to issue guidance for local schools and health departments to follow as they celebrate the class of 2020. At his daily press briefing on Wednesday, DeWine said the two departments came up with the following three recommendations, beginning with the most preferred option:

  1. Virtual graduation ceremonies
  2. Drive-in ceremonies where students drive to a designated location at a designated time to get their diplomas.
  3. An event with 10 people or less at a time, who are socially distanced, where a graduate can receive his or her diploma. 

DeWine said that each Ohio school district must work with their local health department to make sure that their plan is in accordance with public health guidelines to deal with the pandemic. DeWine also advised against any graduation parties including more than 10 people.

As of Wednesday, Ohio has had 17,303 cases positive coronavirus cases, including 3,421 hospitalizations, 1,014 ICU admissions and 937 deaths. Dating back to the discovery of Ohio's first positive coronavirus case on March 9, DeWine has put a number of measures in place to encourage physical distancing, including a stay-at-home order since March 23.

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