El Paso County Health creating plans with schools to let family, friends attend graduation ceremonies

Posted at 11:34 AM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-09 14:28:36-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — El Paso County health officials announced Tuesday they are coordinating with local superintendents to develop a graduation plan that allows families and friends to attend ceremonies that were already scheduled for this week.

Dr. Leon Kelly, who is acting as deputy medical director for El Paso County Public Health, said at Tuesday's El Paso County Board of County Commissioners meeting that there are nine ceremonies between Thursday and Saturday that they are working to have families and friends of graduates in attendance.

El Paso County Health is able to work with schools on these plans because of an amended health order released by the Colorado Department of Public Health last week.

In the order, it states: "life rites, such as wedding ceremonies, graduation ceremonies and funerals, and other religious rites are authorized at 50% capacity not to exceed 50 people indoors, with strict compliance with Social Distancing Requirements for employees and any attendees of services."

Some high school graduations have already taken place in the county prior to the amended order being released by the state. The county sent a variance request to the state in May that was approved, but parents or guests were not allowed to be on site.

Kelly said local jurisdictions have the power to determine protocol for these ceremonies. He also said the number of guests per graduate will be dependent on the size of the venue. To read the order, click here.

El Paso County variance request for in-person graduation approved