Coronavirus NY: New York to allow outdoor, indoor graduations with restrictions

Coronavirus Update for New York
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Graduation ceremonies will be permitted in New York state starting May 1, with limits on capacity based on venue size and whether they are indoor or outdoor.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said graduation ceremonies are important and hopes schools have the events.

"We just want them safe and smart," Cuomo said.

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Cuomo acknowledged that students deserve to enjoy graduation after a long year of the coronavirus pandemic.

The governor released the following guidance for the ceremonies:

OUTDOOR GRADUATIONS
- Large-scale ceremonies of over 500 people at outdoor venues will be limited to 20 percent of capacity, applicable to venues with a total capacity of 2,500 or more.
- Medium-scale ceremonies of 201-500 people at outdoor venues will be limited to 33 percent of capacity.
- Small-scale ceremonies of up to 200 people or 2 attendees per student at outdoor venues will be limited to 50 percent of capacity. Proof of recent negative test result or proof of completed immunization is optional.

INDOOR GRADUATIONS
- Large-scale ceremonies of over 150 people at indoor venues will be limited to 10 percent of capacity, applicable to venues with a total capacity of 1,500 or more.
- Medium-scale ceremonies of 101-150 people at indoor venues will be limited to 33 percent of capacity.
- Small-scale ceremonies of up to 100 people or 2 attendees per student at indoor venues will be limited to 50 percent of capacity. Proof of recent negative test result or proof of completed immunization is optional.

The state requires face masks, social distancing, health screening and social distancing during the ceremonies.

Colleges and schools need to notify their local health departments.

"All that said, we continue to encourage virtual, drive-in or individual ceremonies," Cuomo said. "They are still the safest option for students and families, but we deserve a break and students deserve their day for graduation."

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