Hoosac Valley High School's Class of 2020 takes the field (copy)

Hoosac Valley High School graduates participate in commencement exercises last July, which had been postponed by the pandemic, on the school football field in Cheshire. The state has issued guidelines for the coming graduation season.

New state guidance sets out minimum safety standards for commencements and graduations held by colleges, universities and public and private K-12 schools, allowing the ceremonies to be held inside or outside this year, "in event spaces, ballrooms, private clubs and party rooms, public places, and stadiums, arenas, and ball parks."

The ceremony must adhere to the capacity limits for the venue they are using and be held in a space that can accommodate 6-foot separation between groups. No food or drink are allowed, and guests are limited to six per graduate and must register in advance and attest that they will not attend if they have COVID-19 symptoms or test positive, close contact with an infected person, or are under a doctor or public health official's order to isolate or quarantine.

Masks are required, and can only be removed by graduates at designated photograph locations and by commencement speakers during their remarks as long as they are at least 6 feet from the audience.

The guidance, issued by the Department of Labor Standards in consultation with the Department of Public Health, took effect Monday. It also lists required hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting protocols.