HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) –Henrico County Public Schools announced their 2021 graduates will walk across the stage and accept their diplomas this June, along with other expansions to comply with Governor Northam’s executive order.
According to a release sent from HCPS, Governor Ralph Northam’s Executive Order 79 goes into effect today and aligns Virginia’s policies with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The new executive order lifts capacity restrictions and social distancing requirements in Virginia. It also says employees in certain regulated sectors–including restaurants, retail, fitness, personal care, and entertainment–must continue to wear a mask unless they are fully vaccinated. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose.
The new policies will allow more families and loved ones to attend graduation ceremonies. There will be an option that will allow attendees to sit closer together and won’t require masks — although the governor’s order encourages vaccinations and mask use for people who are not fully vaccinated.
In April, HCPS announced they were planning traditional graduation ceremonies at the Richmond Raceway for the school district’s nine high schools and two advanced career education centers.
- Masks will not be required for those attending the graduation ceremonies. However, the governor’s directive strongly encourages those who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated to wear masks in all settings.
- Each graduate will now be able to invite eight guests, instead of four. (Graduates will only receive four physical tickets. However, each ticket will now admit two guests.)
- Attendees will not be required to physically distance or sit together in “pods” of guests.
The school division was also planning a June 9 graduation for the Academy at Virginia Randolph, to be held at the Virginia Randolph Recreation Area.
To accommodate an outdoor June ceremony, starting times for the graduations will take place a little earlier in the day to avoid the hottest periods of the day. The length of the ceremony is expected to be shortened from about an hour and a half to roughly an hour.
Guest are able to bring a sealed bottle of water into the venue and graduating seniors will gather in a shaded area with ample access to water before their graduation.
The ceremonies will be live-streamed to ensure everyone who wants to be a part of the special day can be.
For the complete graduation schedule, visit HCPS website.