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El Dorado County halts high school graduation party due to coronavirus concerns

Over 100 seniors from Folsom’s Vista Del Lago High School RSVP’d to the picnic-style event that would have been catered by food trucks.

EL DORADO HILLS, Calif — Plans for a big, in-person high school graduation party in El Dorado County have been paused after county officials warned organizers to stop. 

Marlisa Conklin is one of several mothers who were planning a private, outdoor celebration for the graduating seniors of Folsom’s Vista Del Lago High School. The event was supposed to take place at the High Hill Ranch in Apple Hill. Over 100 seniors RSVP’d to the picnic-style event that would have been catered by food trucks.

“With everything that’s happening, we wanted to host something that was outside so we could practice social distancing,” Marlisa Conklin, one of the organizaers, said. “Do something nice for our seniors because they basically lost a whole term of their Senior year.”

The owner of High Hill Ranch said precautions would have been taken to make sure everyone was safe. Picnic tables would have been spaced 12 feet apart, twice the recommended amount for physical distancing and hand sanitizer made available at every table.”

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Conklin said they reached out to the county for permission and claim they were given a green light. 

“They said it sounded good and they gave us their blessing,” Conklin said.

However, El Dorado County Officials said that’s not true, and warned the organizers to stop. High Hill Ranch was warned by letter that the event violates California’s stay at home order and could put anyone who attends at risk of catching the virus.  

“I just feel bad for them, they spent four years trying to get that diploma and I’m really confident we could have done this without a hitch,” Jerry Visman, owner of High Hill Ranch, said. 

Now, the organizers and the ranch owner say this event is being put on hold until they can get approval from the county. Visman hopes that’ll come around July. 

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