SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - Livingstone College announced Thursday it will require COVID-19 vaccinations for its students, faculty and staff for the upcoming fall semester.
Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr, made the announcement in a letter to the campus on Monday, citing recommendations by the college’s COVID-19 Task Force.
The letter reads:
“For more than a year, we have executed our mission in this ‘new normal.’ We have learned that managing COVID-19 is a major undertaking, and it requires significant monetary and human resources. As we bring this semester to a close, we are focused on the fall of 2021.
“During the next academic semester, fall 2021, we will require the entire campus community (faculty, staff, administration, students and ancillary services) to verify that they are fully vaccinated. This will be a requirement to work on our campus and to attend in person – thus enabling the College to effectively and efficiently advance our mission in the ‘new normal.’”
The announcement also noted that Livingstone will evaluate all religious and medical exemptions for the vaccine on a case-by-case basis.
Dr. Anthony J. Davis, who chairs the college’s COVID-19 Task Force, said he has received mixed reaction from the campus community. However he says as he shares the rationale as to why the requirement is necessary, individuals see the relevance and are eager to comply.
“Livingstone College has been responsive and responsible related to managing COVID-19,” said Davis. “However, in order to do so effectively, it requires a significant amount of human and monetary resources.”
Livingstone is offering the first does of the Moderna vaccine to its campus community April 29-30, administered by Ottendorf Laboratories of Gastonia. The college is also offering incentives for students who take advantage of the opportunity.
The vaccinations are also held in concert with Livingstone’s weekly COVID-19 testing, held inside Varick Auditorium. The college has been offering bi-weekly COVID-19 testing with Ottendorf Laboratories since classes resumed in February as part of its testing protocol.
The testing is also mandatory for all faculty, staff and students.