Graduation Guidance from Black Hawk County Health Department

June 4, 2020

Have questions about how to safely hold a graduation or summer gathering?

Below is Section 6 from the 5/27/20 proclamation from Governor Reynolds, regarding mass gatherings. The current gathering restrictions extend through 6/17/20. Any gatherings occurring after that may be under fewer or additional restrictions based on the Governor's proclamations.

Here is some helpful guidance from the Black Hawk County Health Department.

Guidance for Gatherings

  • Promote social distancing.
  • Limit or spread out seating options.
  • Wearing masks or face coverings is recommended.
  • Outdoor gatherings are better than indoor.
  • People who are ill should not attend.
  • Think twice before inviting people who are at increased risk for illness.

Guidance for Food

  • Stay away from self-serve food menus.
  • Have someone designated to serve food to guests, while wearing gloves.
  • Guests should not reuse tableware or glasses.
  • Limit communal bowls of snacks and drinks.
  • Do not let food sit uncovered.
  • Have a hand wash station or hand sanitizer adjacent to the food table.

Here is the section of the proclamation relevant to mass gatherings:

SECTION SIX. Pursuant to Iowa Code § 135.144 (3), and in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Public Health, unless otherwise modified by subsequent proclamation or order of the Iowa Department of Public Health, effective 12:01 a.m. on June 1, 2020, and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on June 17, 2020:

 A.   A social, community, recreational, leisure, or sporting gathering or event, including but not limited to a parade, festival, convention, or fundraiser, of more than ten people may be held, but only if the gathering complies with all other relevant provisions in this Proclamation and the following requirements:

 (1) Capacity limited: The gathering organizer must limit the number of participants present in any indoor venue to 50% of its normal operating capacity to ensure adequate spacing of groups. The gathering organizer must limit the number of participants present in any outdoor venue with grandstands or other permanent seating to 50% of its normal operating capacity and the number of participants in other outdoor settings to a number that permits the social distancing required by paragraph 2.

 (2) Social distancing: The gathering organizer must ensure at least six feet of physical distance between each group or individual attending alone.

 (3) Other social distancing, hygiene, and public health measures: The gathering organizer shall also implement reasonable measures under the circumstances of each gathering to ensure social distancing of gathering participants, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health and, for any food service, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals.


Any social, community, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people that does not comply with these requirements shall continue to be prohibited at all locations and venues.

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