Livingstone College to require students, faculty to be vaccinated for COVID-19 before fall semester

SALISBURY, N.C. — Livingstone College in Salisbury announced Thursday that it will require students and faculty to be vaccinated for COVID-19 before start of the fall semester.

“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,’” a letter to the campus community read.

Student Jamesha Waddell died of COVID-19 and fellow classmate, Justin Wade, said that is a good reason to require a vaccine.

“She was very fun to be around a great person,” said Wade, a junior at Livingstone. “It definitely broke my heart, because I feel that COVID-19 robbed us of someone that we definitely needed on campus.”

Waddell left campus in September 2020 to isolate at home, went to a hospital where she died from the coronavirus.

Dr. Anthony J. Davis, the chair of the college’s COVID-19 Task Force, said he has received mix reactions from people, but said he has explained why the requirements is necessary.

“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.”

The historically Black college has been testing aggressively since the pandemic but increased testing after recent breaks, found a slight spike in cases, Davis said.

“Taking a look at these new variants on our campus, we saw that maybe three out of four students and faculty and staff who tested positive were not demonstrating symptoms,” Davis said. “They were asymptomatic.”

Livingstone College also offered first doses of the Moderna vaccine to the campus on April 29-30. The vaccinations was held inside Varick Auditorium.