By Alberto Garcia
Parents and high school seniors in Coronado took it upon themselves to organize a graduation celebration on the beach after their school canceled its planned ceremony due to the COVID-19 restriction still in place.
San Diego County Health Officer Wilma Wooten notified the Coronado school district on Wednesday that their planned graduation ceremony on Thursday would have violated the standing health order restricting non-essential events, including graduations. Coronado had planned to hold the event at their football field with students sitting 6 feet apart and guest limited to two persons per student.
The district then held an online virtual graduation Thursday followed by a drive-thru ceremony where families decorated their cars and lined the streets around the school.
Most elementary, middle schools, and highs schools throughout San Diego have held similar online ceremonies and drive-thru events to comply with the health order protecting against the spread of the COVOD-19 virus.
Bur for many families in Coronado, that was not enough.
Several hundred people met up at Sunset Park at the North end of Ocean Blvd near the Hotel del Coronado and walked across the street to the beach to celebrate their graduation. Social media posts on Facebook and Instagram show families and students celebrating, taking pictures, and even tossing their caps with only a few practicing social distancing or wearing face masks.
As of Friday, June 12, San Diego County had 9,314 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and has had 319 deaths. Coronado has one of the lowest rates of infections in the County with only 25, cases, which computed to 115 per 100,000 residents, compared to San Diego with 4,122 cases (290 per 100,000 residents), Chula Vista with 1,392 cases (520 per 100,000 residents), and National City with 460 cases (739 per 100,000 residents).