Seminole high schools cancel outdoor graduation ceremonies due to increase on COVID-19 cases

Seminole health officials say new infections increasing in younger population

Students sit at a graduation.

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Following the recent increase in coronavirus cases Seminole County high schools announced this week they will no longer host outdoor graduation ceremonies but will honor their graduating seniors through smaller ceremonies where social distancing can be observed.

Seminole County health officials have been sounding the alarm over the last two weeks after an increase in new cases, particularly in younger populations. As of Wednesday there are more 15 to 24-year-olds in Seminole County who have tested positive for coronavirus than any other age group, according to the Florida Department of Health dashboard.

“The majority of our cases are in young people. So hence it’s important for us to continue to message to our young folks, even though we’re reopening and people are getting out and around each other, they still need to adhere to the precautions that we’ve been messaging since the beginning of this event," Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County Donna Walsh said.

[RELATED COVERAGE: Oviedo at center of Seminole County coronavirus hot spot | Florida governor doesn’t want another lockdown as coronavirus cases swell]

Seminole County, Lake Brantley, Hagerty and Lake Howell high schools have all announced changes to graduation ceremonies. The schools canceled their larger outdoor ceremonies and school officials said students and their families will be informed soon about the new scheduled ceremonies.

Seminole County High School cancelled the ceremony at Thomas E. Wingham Stadium and will hold smaller ceremonies at the school auditorium on July 17.

Lake Brantley rescheduled its ceremony for July 5 which will be divided up into smaller groups.

Hagerty High School’s ceremony will happen on July 17, also in smaller groups. The school dance fro July 16 has been cancelled.

Lake Howell High School officials are still working on a plan to allow students to walk across the stage and graduate. The school dance fro July 16 has been cancelled.