Families take safety precautions for grad party season

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 4:41 PM EDT
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Graduating high school senior Taegan Byers said she is moving forward with her plans to have a graduation party.

It's an effort to make the best of the situation.

"We're going to have individually wrapped desserts," Byers said. "It's not going to be a buffet style. We're going to have people serve the food. We will have masks and sanitizers for people that choose to wear it. We're going to have temperatures taken upon arrival. If anyone has a temperature they will have to, unfortunately, leave."

Byers said her party will be held at her house, but it will be held outside. She has a three-car garage and plenty of room for people to social distance.

"At the same time," Byers said, "it's our new normal and we have to adjust and adapt to the situation, and if this is what I have to do to have a grad party then that is fine because I don't want anybody to get sick as a result of it."

Byers said she is going to try to have her guests wear wristbands.They'll be color coordinated to show how comfortable someone is with close conversation and touching.

"Green would be you're okay with hugs and talking," Byers said. Yellow would be you're just okay with talking and red would be you don't want any talking and you want to social distance the entire time."

Byers said she will have her guests sign in.

If a guest later tests positive for the virus, Byers will know who to notify based on who signed in.

While Byers made be having her party, other families are not.

Scott Awad, co-owner of ETR Party Rental, said he had a few cancellations for graduation parties.

He said he makes 25 percent of his yearly business in June. However, he said it's grad party season and a lot of people cancelled their parties.

Despite the slower business, Awad said he and his employees are taking every precaution.

He said when they are dropping off rental equipment to a home or venue, one person is allowed in the vicinity and must be wearing a mask.

"We're getting more serious about it in making them leave the area or put a mask on," Awad said. "It's getting too scary."

Customers can make a no-contact pickup rental equipment from the store. Payments and signing the contract are done electronically and everyone must be wearing a mask.

"They have a set time when they show up to our store," Awad said. "One person with a mask, they call us, we go out, it's curbside. We load them, they're on their way and same thing for the return."

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