After the State Health Department released new guidelines on graduations, the class of 2020 will be celebrating very differently this year.

Chief Medical Officer for CVCH Dr. Malcolm Butler says the biggest concern was that COVID-19 can accumulate in the air.

"And just being in an enclosed space for a long time with an infected person can lead to being infected."

Dr. Butler says a church choir practice in Bellingham is an example in which one person was sick, and got 52 others sick, despite not all of them being within six feet because of the singing and breathing, which could be experienced at a graduation.

Butler says large group gatherings, even outdoors, can still result in passing the virus around, though he is trying to find a silver lining.

"There is science behind avoiding large, noisy crowds in small spaces no question. And the graduation of 2020 will never be forgotten."

Dr. Butler says it's about being sensible and smart to keep as many people safe as possible.

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