With the COVID-19 vaccinations rising and related restrictions loosening up around the state, the Orono school district has adjusted with them.

One of the biggest changes will be seen at the Orono High School graduation on Wednesday, June 9 at Pesonen Stadium at 7 p.m.

With capacity limits being lifted for outdoor events, the Class of 2021 will be able to invite whoever they want to watch them get their diploma.

“Since capacity limits and distancing requirements have been lifted for outdoor events, the Class of 2021 can invite as many family members and friends as they wish,” Orono Public Schools Director of Communications Lyssa Campbell said. “Tickets will not be required.”

Graduation will take place rain or shine.

If you can’t make it to Pesonen Stadium or still hesitant about gathering in crowds, the school district will live stream the graduation on YouTube.

Another COVID related change the school district made was about quarantines.

In a press release, on Friday, May 14 the Orono Schools administration and Incident Command Team, in consultation with the district’s lead epidemiologist from the Minnesota Department of Health, have approved a shortened quarantine option for students and staff for the final weeks of school.

The shortened quarantine is an option for COVID-19 close-contact exposure in school buildings or other learning spaces. With the shortened quarantine, students are allowed to return to school and other activities on day eight with proof of a negative PCR test. Official test results should be submitted to the student’s school health office.

The 14-day quarantine requirement will continue to apply when an individual is living with someone with a positive COVID-19 test result or illness and when experiencing repeated exposure.

Masks or face coverings will still need to be worn by students, staff and anybody visiting a school building until the end of the school year. Orono’s last day of school is scheduled for Wednesday, June 9.

The Minnesota Commissioner of Education messaged all school leaders on Thursday evening, May 13, 2021, confirming that masks/face coverings will continue to be required within schools under the Safe Learning Plan until the last day of this school year,” the release said. “The state is planning to release summer guidance on May 28, 2021.”

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