MHS graduation: Masks recommended, mingling is not

Thursday, July 30, 2020

McCOOK, Neb. — Face masks are highly recommended at the McCook High School commencement ceremony on Friday.

The ceremony is 6 p.m. at the indoor Peter and Delores Graff Events Center at the McCook Community College campus. Disposable masks will be available at the door for those who do not have one.

Seniors were given a packet at the graduation rehearsal Wednesday, that contained eight tickets for family members to attend the event.

According to the packet, the number of tickets provided was based on the event capacity permitted under Stage III of directed health measures (DHMs) for the state. The local public health department approved the plan used for the graduation, based on current DHMs.

Family members at high risk are discouraged from attending and all family members are encouraged to wear masks, as well as the graduates.

Hand washing before and after the event is encouraged along with the use of hand sanitizers.

To achieve social distancing requirements and to conduct contact tracing, if needed, groups of people will be congregated together in “pods” of 4, 6 and eight. Groups will be six feet apart.

Students will be cohorted in groups of seven, but these groups of students will not be able to social distance at all times. Graduates will practice social distancing when entering and exiting the gym and when entering and exiting the stage. Masks can be removed at those times. The school has hired a photographer to take pictures of each graduate receiving their diploma, available to family members online at no charge.

Door will open at 4 p.m. and the commencement will be live streamed, available at

At past graduations, family members came down from the bleachers and congratulated the seniors, milling around the event center and snapping photos. That won’t be the case on Friday, as at the conclusion of the ceremony, families are to promptly exit the gym and take their pictures once outside the facility.

Students and family members were asked not to attend if they had any signs of COVID-19 infection or had been in recent contact with anyone who had tested positive for the virus.

Recently, Ralston Public Schools had to canceled its in-person high school graduation ceremony after a member of the graduating class tested positive for COVID-19 and school officials learned students held several graduation parties.

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