By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — Massachusetts schools are urged not to hold proms this spring amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said in updated guidance Thursday that schools need to be cautious when holding out-of-classroom events.

“Prom is an inherently high-risk activity, as it is a social gathering that involves dancing and singing (both of which are activities with increased respiration), and also presents concerning opportunities for students to break health and safety protocols in a relaxed environment,” the guidance states. “Therefore, after consultation with our medical advisors, DESE strongly recommends that schools do not have proms and instead substitute alternative celebrations for seniors.”

If any school still wants to have proms, it is “strongly recommended” that they be delayed until the school year is over, when most students attending will have had the chance to get vaccinated.

Any schools holding a prom must follow state standards for indoor and outdoor events, as well as the travel advisory. Staff