Dallas County health officials are discouraging in-person graduation ceremonies, warning such gatherings increase the risk for potential "mass spread of COVID-19."
In a letter tweeted Monday by Dallas ISD trustee Miguel Solis, Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Philip Huang said in-person graduation events encourage people in high-risk groups -- particularly older adults and people with underlying health conditions -- or people who are sick to venture from home rather than self-quarantine.
DCHHS instead is pushing forward with encouraging virtual graduation ceremonies where everyone -- students, faculty, friends and family -- join the ceremony through a livestream.
Huang says schools are seeking clarification and guidance on how they can "safely observe and honor the occasion in alignment with public health guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community."
"We know how much students in the class of 2020 have sacrificed this year, and how disappointing it is not to participate in the milestones or traditions they had imagined," Huang wrote. "These guidelines were made with public health protection in mind, and adhering to them is how we will both celebrate our students and move safely through this challenge together."
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Dallas ISD announced in late April that ceremonies for the nearly 9,000 students in its class of 2020 will be held virtually.