ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Things are slowly getting back to normal, and a lot of high schoolers are probably thinking about prom.
Unlike last year, when many aspects of regular life were still restricted, New York students can have a special end-of-year celebration with their friends.
New York State recently released guidelines for those looking to participate in a prom or ball. They can happen, effective June 1, but there are limitations.
- Event organizers must ensure that attendees are not congregating, except when seated at their assigned table. Attendees should only be standing when necessary (e.g., enter/exit, restroom, use of staffed buffet), when essential to the event (e.g., entrance), or, when permitted under the below circumstances.
- Event organizers may provide cocktail receptions for attendees where standing is permitted with strict adherence to social distancing; provided, however, that attendees only remove their face coverings to consume food and beverages while seated. Further, attendees must not remove their face covering and must not consume food and beverage if members of different parties are within six feet.
- Event organizers may permit live music, entertainment (e.g., DJ), and/or dancing within the following parameters, which will be revisited by the State as the public health condition continues to change:
- Live music performers and other entertainers, particularly if unmasked or playing a wind instrument, must be separated from attendees by either 12 feet or an appropriate physical barrier.
- Attendees may dance with members of their same party in designated and clearly marked dancing areas that allow for appropriate social distancing between members of different parties and any tables (i.e., at least, six feet apart).
- Attendees must wear face coverings while in the dancing area.
- Event organizers can consider creating dance zones for tables, assigning parties to different times on dance floor, alternating which tables of attendees can dance or be seated, setting and enforcing capacity limits for dance floors, and/or other measures to ensure appropriate distancing between attendees.
- Event organizers should consider staggered intervals for food service at staffed buffets to allow attendees to maintain social distance while waiting in line.
- Event organizers should consider serving any passed foods (e.g., hors d’oeuvres) in containers that limit touching of any shared surfaces (e.g., platters) by attendees.
- Events are subject to inspection by State and local health authorities to ensure compliance with all provisions of State-issued guidance.
Amherst Central School District (CSD) Superintendent Anthony Panella says plans aren’t final, but the district is hoping to have both prom and a graduation ceremony.
“Different rules apply to outdoor and indoor events and we are reviewing all requirements,” Panella wrote in a letter to district families.