Spring is finally here and we're starting to see light at the end of the tunnel in terms of COVID-19 and many of its restrictions.

It may seem like a long time away, but of course, after spring there is summer and with that comes graduation and commencement ceremonies.

The Commonwealth has issued some guidelines concerning these kinds of ceremonies whether they are being held indoors or out.

By the way, these guidelines are not just for colleges, but also for kindergarten thru grade 12.

The guidelines were made by the Mass. Department of Public Health and the Mass. Department of Labor Standards.

Western Mass News reports that depending on the building or structure, indoor ceremonies have to comply with specific reopening guidelines.

However, ceremonies held outdoors, have no capacity limit as long as social distancing protocol is adhered to. And as long as half of the perimeter is in open space, tents are also allowed.

Please keep in mind also that wearing masks is required. And that goes not only for graduates and faculty members, but also family members and guests.

Also, entrances for everyone will be staggered, so as to prevent a clogging up of a large group of people in a small area.

Perhaps the most important guideline is to establish a registration system that requires everyone that plans to be in attendance to acknowledge that they will not be attending the ceremony if they exhibit any COVID-like symptoms or have been in the presence of anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

I know that some of these measures may seem extreme to some, but remember: Graduation should be a great day. Let's try and keep everyone safe, happy, and healthy as our children begin new and exciting chapters in their lives.

For more information, including more detailed specifics on the guidelines, please visit Western Mass News' website here.

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