Jefferson County, school officials collaborate
to promote safer, healthier graduation events


WATEROWN, N.Y. (June 4, 2020)Jefferson-Lewis-Hamilton-Herkimer-Oneida BOCES (BOCES), Jefferson County school officials and Jefferson County officials, including the public health department, have been working collaboratively to address graduation activities that are in accordance with New York state orders and guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group has been proactively working together to address this important milestone in a young person’s life. Jefferson County officials have made recommendations on ways that schools can celebrate the class of 2020, while taking into consideration public health concerns, social distancing recommendations, and state-issued restrictions on social gatherings.

While developing innovative interventions to continue to mitigate COVID-19, the schools and the community have guidelines and laws that must be adhered to. At this time, New York state is only allowing gatherings of 10 or fewer people.

“Executive Order 202.10, as later extended by Executive Order 202.18, Executive Order 202.29 and as extended and amended by Executive Order 202.32, which prohibited all non-essential gatherings of any size for any reason, except for any religious service or ceremony, or for the purposes of any Memorial Day service or commemoration, which allowed 10 or fewer individuals to gather, provided that social distancing protocols and cleaning and disinfection protocols required by the Department of Health are adhered to is hereby modified to permit any non-essential gathering of 10 or fewer individuals, for any lawful purpose or reason, provided that social distancing protocols and cleaning and disinfection protocols required by the Department of Health are adhered to.”


While everyone understands that virtual or drive-by graduations are not the first choice of school staff, parents or students, it is imperative to continue these social distancing measures in order to mitigate COVID-19 and allow for future reopening phases.

Jefferson County officials ask that as you personally consider your participation at graduation activities, keep in mind that the safest option is to stay at home, particularly for at-risk groups.

Consider the following guidance to have a safer, healthier graduation:

* Stay home if you are ill or have been exposed to COVID-19.

* Maintain a distance of at least six feet (either in person or in cars with windows down).

* Wear a face covering when you cannot maintain a distance of six feet.

* Do not have physical contact with anyone outside of your household (no hand shaking, hugs, etc.).

* Do not have social gatherings afterwards. (See Executive Order above.)

* Wash hands or use hand sanitizer.

* Disinfect all surfaces.


(Jefferson County Public Health Service)