Graduation Ceremony Canceled
Benet Academy had to cancel a socially distanced commencement ceremony for its Class of 2020 scheduled for last night, due to DuPage County Health Department concerns over rising levels of COVID-19 in the county.
Health Department Advises Cancelation
Benet Principal Stephen Marth said he received a call from the DuPage County Health Department yesterday afternoon, hours before the ceremony was set to start.
“Even though I had conversations with representatives from their office on both Wednesday, July 22 and Wednesday, July 29 that assured me that it was a local decision to decide whether to conduct an in-person graduation ceremony, I was called at about 12:30 p.m. and told by the Executive Director of the DuPage County Health Department, Karen J. Ayala, that a new threshold had been crossed that bars us from proceeding with our original plans,” said Marth in the announcement.
Health Department Concerns
Ayala shared a letter which “strongly advised” against the ceremony.
“Of specific concern, DuPage County COVID-19 cases aged 10-19 years have increased from comprising 5 percent of our total cases before July 1 to 16 percent of our cases as of July 26,” said Ayala in the letter.
The letter also mentioned the county has entered the warning level on one of the state’s risk metrics after its cases per 100,000 population exceeded 50. DuPage County is now at 51.
“While graduation is an important event celebrating the success of our students, our responsibility to protect the health and safety of our communities, students, and staff remains our highest priority,” said Ayala in the letter.
The school held a diploma distribution last night instead of the planned graduation event.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
photo credit: Benet Academy
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