April 21, 2021

Board of Health Regulation for School Graduations Approved

An amended Montgomery County Board of Health regulation to provide guidance for public and private school graduation ceremonies was unanimously approved this week by the County Council. The regulation applies to ceremonies for high school, middle school, elementary school and kindergarten graduations.

The regulation includes the following guidance for graduation ceremonies:
  • The total number of persons present at an outdoor graduation ceremony must be limited to 50 percent of the outdoor venue’s maximum occupancy.
  • If an outdoor venue does not have a formal certificate of occupancy, 40 square feet per person must be used to calculate the occupancy limit.
  • The total number of persons present at an indoor graduation ceremony is limited to 25 percent of the maximum occupancy or 250 people, whichever is smaller.
  • A school that plans an indoor graduation ceremony must obtain a letter of approval for its plan showing how it would meet the general requirements of the regulation.
  • A record of everyone attending the graduation must be kept for 30 days to enable contact tracing.
  • The school must identify a point of contact for an attendee to notify if they test positive for COVID-19 within two weeks after the event. The point of contact must notify the County's Department of Health and Human Services within one business day of notice of a positive test.
  • No more than 10 people can be on the stage at one time.
  • The ceremony must last no more than two hours.
  • Members of the audience from different households must remain at least six feet apart at all times.
  • Signage explaining the infectious control requirements must be posted at the venue;
  • No group or staged photography.
  • No congregating or gathering in common areas both inside and outside of the venue before or after the ceremony.
  • A masked speaker must be at least 12 feet from the audience and an unmasked speaker must be at least 18 feet from the audience.
  • Diplomas must be distributed without handshakes or physical contact.
  • No food or beverage concessions at the ceremony.
The amended Board of Health regulation and the Council staff report can be viewed here.

School representatives who have questions about graduation ceremonies should send an email to covid.plans@montgomerycountymd.gov.