Ohio University announced Tuesday it is planning to hold spring commencement virtually due to state regulations and the current state of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gatherings of more than 10 individuals are still prohibited, according to a health order signed by Ohio Department of Health interim Director Lance Himes.

“We understand that this news is disappointing for our spring graduates and their families,” OU President Duane Nellis said in a university press release. “Commencement is the most important day in the life of a college student. It is a culmination of their hard work and dedication to reach an important milestone, an effort that has only been made more challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

OU is prepared to re-evaluate its commencement plans based on changes in state guidelines and the spread of the coronavirus, according to the release.

A university commencement planning team is working to plan a virtual experience honoring graduates, and OU’s Office of Conference and Event Services will contact graduates in the coming weeks with more information on how to have their names and photos included in a virtual ceremony.

Athens County currently has 3,675 cases of the coronavirus, according to the Athens City-County Health Department. Of those cases, 551 are active.

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am166317@ohio.edu