Northam releases plans for in-person graduations in Va.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday unveiled a tentative plan for in-person graduations at schools, colleges and universities in the commonwealth.

The plans have been reviewed with education officials, Northam’s office said in a statement, and are expected to be made official April 1, when Northam updates his executive order regarding activities in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The most important restrictions are that outdoor events will be capped at 5,000 people or 30% of the venue capacity, whichever is less, while indoor events will be capped at 500 people or 30%, whichever is less. Masks and social distancing will also be required.

You can find all the preliminary rules in draft form on the Department of Education’s website.

“We are releasing this guidance early to allow schools to begin planning for this year’s events,” Northam said in the statement. “While graduation and commencement ceremonies will still be different than they were in the past, this is a tremendous step forward for all of our schools, our graduates, and their families.”

More than two-thirds of Virginia’s teachers and school staff have received at least one dose of the vaccine, Northam’s office said.

James Lane, Virginia’s superintendent of public instruction, said in the statement that he believes in-person instruction “will be the norm in every Virginia school division this fall.”


More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.


Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2012 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He went to George Washington University as an undergraduate and is regularly surprised at the changes to the city since that faraway time.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up