LC to require vaccine for fall

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Livingstone College will require COVID-19 vaccinations for its faculty, staff and students beginning fall semester 2021.

The announcement was made Monday to the campus community by Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., as recommended by the college’s COVID-19 Task Force, chaired by Dr. Anthony J. Davis.

“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,” the letter reads.

“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 letter reads.

“Livingstone College has been responsive and responsible related to managing COVID-19,” said Davis, who is also senior vice president and chief operating officer. “However, in order to do so effectively, it requires a significant amount of human and monetary resources.”

Davis said he has received mixed reaction from the campus community, but as he shares the rationale as to why the requirement is necessary, individuals see the relevance and are eager to comply.

As a convenience, courtesy and demonstration to the college’s commitment to making the vaccine available, Livingstone is offering the first does of the Moderna vaccine to its campus community April 29-30, with incentives for students who take advantage of this opportunity.

The vaccinations are being administered by Ottendorf Laboratories of Gastonia, in which Livingstone has a majority ownership. The vaccinations are also held in concert with Livingstone’s weekly COVID-19 testing, held inside Varick Auditorium. The college has been offering biweekly COVID-19 testing with Ottendorf Laboratories since classes resumed in February as part of its testing protocol. In early April, Livingstone increased testing to weekly. Testing is mandatory for all faculty, staff and students.

On April 17, Livingstone held its first vaccination clinic in partnership with the Rowan County Health Department and Rowan Emergency Services, administering the first does of the Pfizer vaccine. The second dose for those participants is scheduled for May 8 in the college’s new Trent Gymnasium.

The announcement also noted that Livingstone will evaluate all religious and medical exemptions for the vaccine on a case-by-case basis.

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