COVID-19 vaccine

The vaccine is available to everyone 12 and older! Find a City-run vaccine clinic or partner vaccine clinic to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you have questions about vaccination, call (215) 685-5488.

Graduation ceremonies guidance

Graduation ceremonies guidance

The following is intended as a plain-language summary of rules during the COVID-19 emergency and does not replace the need to follow all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

Protections Needed

For all instances where PA state guidance differs from Health Department guidance follow the guidance which is most restrictive.


  • All attendees and any staff must wear masks at all times, regardless of vaccination status, except while eating and drinking in assigned seats.
  • Presenters should wear masks when feasible.
  • Require any backstage crew members (e.g., AV technical crew) to mask while on site.
  • Unvaccinated audience members, attendees and staff should be masked outdoors if they are less than 6 feet away from others.


  • Screen staff, students, and/or attendees for symptoms before ceremony, rehearsal (if applicable), or shift and prevent them from remaining on site if they have cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, or new loss of taste or smell. Screen all staff, students, and attendees for recent exposure to COVID-19.
  • It is not necessary to conduct onsite temperature measurement for staff, students, or attendees. If you measure temperatures, use a no-touch thermometer, and do not allow anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher to remain on-site.
  • Have sick leave policies in place so that employees excluded from the workplace do not lose earnings.
  • If an employee develops COVID-19 infection or has a positive test, businesses and other organizations must take additional precautions to stop the virus from spreading further. Required precautions include calling the Health Department at (215) 685-5488 to report positive cases. Schools may also email

Reduce crowds

  • Distancing is still recommended. Encourage individuals to maintain 3 feet of distance between themselves and others outside of their group.
  • Consider the use of distance markers, such as sidewalk decals, chalked or painted circles, or other visual cues to encourage audience to stay at least 3 feet apart
  • Establish procedures to prevent crowding among persons waiting to purchase tickets or to enter the venue.
  • Adjust work assignments to ensure staff can stay at least 3 feet from each other throughout their shifts.
  • If applicable, it is best practice for singers or musicians who play wind or brass instruments to be at least 6 feet from each other and audience members. Bell covers should be used on wind or brass instruments.
  • If food is served, follow Catered events, weddings & celebrations guidance for outdoor events.


  • Place handwashing stations or hand sanitizer at entry, lobby, green rooms and outside communal bathrooms for all staff and attendees with prominent signage promoting use.


  • Wipe down high-touch surfaces with disinfectant regularly. See CDC guidance for details.
  • Wipe microphones, keyboards, and podiums with disinfectant between users.


  • If possible, increase ventilation in the building by either:
    • Opening windows and/or doors on opposite sides of the building and using fans to blow outside air through the building, OR
    • Optimizing ventilation provided by the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system by:
      • Having the HVAC system checked to assure that it is working properly. If it can be adjusted, the system should be set to provide at least 6 air exchanges per hour.
      • Maximizing the amount of outside air circulated by the system.
      • Installing filters with minimum efficiency reporting values (MERV) of 13, or the highest compatible with the filter rack.
      • Checking that the external air inlet duct is not blocked and that it is at least 15 feet from persons.


  • Educate staff about symptoms and prevention of COVID-19.
  • Encourage staff and attendees to download and turn on the PA notification app COVID Alert PA to help with contact tracing.
  • Remind staff who are sick or have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 within the past 10 days to stay home and follow CDC quarantine guidelines​​​​​​​. Staff without any symptoms may end their quarantine period after:
    • Day 10 without testing, OR
    • Day 7 after receiving a negative test result (lab-based or rapid) after day 5.
  • Staff who have been fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine when exposed to someone with COVID-19 if they meet the following criteria:
    • They are fully vaccinated, and it’s been at least 2 weeks after the last dose in the vaccine series.
    • They have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.
  • Vaccination is not 100% effective.
    • Anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms should get tested.
    • Anyone who is positive for COVID-19 must isolate according to CDC guidelines.
    • After vaccination you must still wear a mask, keep your distance, and avoid crowds.
  • Post prominent signs at entrances and in employee break rooms:
    • Encouraging all staff, students, and attendees to wear masks.
    • Encouraging physical distancing of at least 3 feet.
    • Encouraging people to cover coughs or sneezes.

See also:

  • Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive updates to your phone.
  • Call (800) 722-7112 to speak to a health care professional on the Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline.