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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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NYS outlines preliminary guidance on in-person graduation ceremonies

The seating in Stony Brook’s Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. The stadium will be used for graduation this May. NARA HWANG/STATESMAN FILE

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined preliminary guidance for this spring’s in-person graduation ceremonies, which includes restrictions on venue capacity and requirement for a recent negative COVID-19 test or vaccination for attendees.

All events will require attendees to wear face coverings, screen their symptoms, provide contact tracing information and social distance, according to Cuomo. Outdoor graduation venues will be limited to 20% capacity for those with over 500 people, 33% capacity for those for events between 500 and 200 people and 50% capacity and optional tests and vaccination requirements for ceremonies under 200 attendees.

Indoor graduation venues will be limited to 10% capacity for those with over 150 people, 33% capacity for those between 150 and 100 people and 50% capacity and optional tests and vaccination requirements for ceremonies under 100 attendees. Larger scale events will have to consult with local health departments for their policy. 

The state has also listed several alternatives, including drive through and drive-in ceremonies, where families would still be able to see students graduate, but in-person interaction would be minimal. More details will be released on May 1.

Stony Brook University will have multiple in-person graduation ceremonies for their students from May 19 to May 21, and has yet to issue an update on whether or not they will allow guests at their commencement ceremonies. All ceremonies will be livestreamed and recorded. Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium, where commencement ceremonies will take place, has a seating capacity of 12,300. All ceremonies will be held rain or shine.

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