HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — High school proms and graduation ceremonies can take place this spring but should have precautions to reduce the possibility of spreading COVID-19, Connecticut's Department of Public Health said.
Attendees should wear masks and practice social distancing regardless of their vaccination status, the department said Friday as it issued a series of guidelines. Events also should be held outdoors with a scheduled rain date, rather than moving indoors.
Schools holding indoor events should consider reducing capacity, health officials said. Also, delaying events until later in the school year or after the end of the school year will give more students the opportunity to be vaccinated. The state recommended schools set up mass testing sites and require attendees to show proof of a negative test result within 72 hours of the event.
Schools also should consider not serving food and drinks to reduce the amount of time people have to take off their masks, the state said.
Event planners "will also have to consider the potential downstream consequences of hosting or attending large events with limited control over the movement and interactions among attendees, which could include quarantining an entire class of students if a single case of COVID-19 is present at an event,” the state said.
The state's first 24-hour vaccination clinic was expected to provide about 4,000 doses over the weekend.
Trinity Health of New England held the event in Hartford from Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, Democratic U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Lieutenant Gov. Susan Bysiewicz were among the attendees on Friday.
Dr. Deidre Gifford, acting commissioner of the state Department of Public Health, called it "an innovative way to offer vaccines to the community,” the New Haven Register reported.
“Not everyone works 9-5, Monday through Friday, and events like this allow people with nontraditional work schedules to have access to the COVID-19 vaccine," Gifford said.