PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said outdoor graduation ceremonies can be safely held in the state this year.

Common sense should guide the events at high schools and colleges, Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said. Masks should be worn at events that will pack hundreds of students into a close setting, he said.

“They might be outdoors this summer. That’s a good thing and we encourage that,” Shah said. “When everyone disperses and has spread out, that’s a situation where you might not need a mask.”

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Shah made the comments during a Wednesday appearance on Maine Public. The statement came a day after the state and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released relaxed guidance about the need to wear masks outdoors.

The coronavirus pandemic disrupted Maine’s graduation season last year. The University of Maine System, for example, canceled in-person graduation ceremonies for its universities.

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