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    Mayor Bowser changes capacity rules for churches and schools, allowing graduation to be more normal

    A+new+timeline+was+given+by+DC+Mayor+Muriel+Bowser+last+week%2C+affecting+the+reopening+and+restrictions+of+business+and+venues+in+Washington%2C+D.C.+%28Photo+from+https%3A%2F%2Fmayor.dc.gov%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Fdc%2Fsites%2Fcoronavirus%2Frelease_content%2Fattachments%2FSituational-Update-Presentation_051021.pdf%29
    A new timeline was given by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser last week, affecting the reopening and restrictions of business and venues in Washington, D.C. (Photo from https://mayor.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/coronavirus/release_content/attachments/Situational-Update-Presentation_051021.pdf)

    The Gonzaga community received great news as of May 12, 2021. With COVID-19 numbers down and vaccines becoming more and more accessible, a lot of the previous restrictions given to the United States are being lifted. 

    Mayor Muriel Bowser went through a slide show on May 10, 2021 that went over a situational update on COVID-19 in the city. To address the concerns of the public, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser emphasized important statistics.

    “Our health metrics continue to trend in the right direction,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said.

    The lifted restrictions include capacity limitations within a ton of places in D.C. Places of worship, schools, restaurants, libraries, museums, gyms, and childcare facilities will all have no capacity limitations on May 21, 2021. Bars, nightclubs and sporting arenas are the only places where the capacity restrictions will remain until June 11, 2021.

    This great progress has led to something not many people were expecting just a few weeks ago. Students are now allowed to have up to six guests attending graduation.

    Many families were happy at the fact that even the parents were originally allowed to attend, just because for so long even that didn’t seem plausible. Now, with these lifted restrictions, students can have family or friends located in three different spots around campus, the Sheehy Theater, Carmody Center and St. Aloysius Church.

    Many seniors are looking forward to the increased number of guests because it provides them with an opportunity to allow people who helped them get through their high school years come to see them graduate. This experience is once in a lifetime, and thankfully COVID-19 didn’t get the best of it.

    Jack Ronca, a Gonzaga senior, shared about his experience after hearing about the great news sent out by Headmaster Mr. Tom Every. His excitement and thankfulness showed.

    “I was super happy to hear that we are now allowed to bring six guests to our graduation. Now my sister and grandparents can come and celebrate this special moment with me,” Ronca said.

    Another senior, John Rotondo, also had a similar spurt of excitement as Ronca, but he also expressed a concern that some families might have to deal with. Originally, it was quite obvious that students and their parents would come; now that’s not quite the case.

    “I’m happy that I get to allow more of my family to come to the graduation, but it makes mine and my family’s decision harder because we have to choose between the people who get to go and who don’t,” Rotondo said.

    Seniors aren’t the only students excited for this graduation announcement. Many seniors graduating have younger brothers in lower grades who weren’t allowed to attend at first. Luke Wood, a junior, was disappointed when he learned that he wasn’t able to attend the ceremony, but with the new guidelines, he can now make it.

    “My older brother Jack and I have a very close relationship, and going to his graduation is something that I’ve always looked forward to. Now that I know I can go with my parents and younger brothers, I’m ecstatic,” Wood said.

    As of right now, the only aspect that’s seen a change has been the amount of guests permitted to come. Graduating students still have the same protocols for all of the other graduation “events,” including the Baccalaureate Mass and the graduation practice. This great news is something that will hopefully pump up the excitement on Eye Street for the departing seniors.

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