• 50°

Livingstone College reports only two student cases of COVID-19 this semester

SALISBURY — Livingstone College has reported only two positive cases of COVID-19 among its completely vaccinated student population.

The college is one of a handful of private institutions in the state that have mandated universal COVID-19 vaccination for students, faculty and staff on its campus starting this semester.

Livingstone started bringing students back to campus in August and began classes in September. In addition to the vaccine policy, it has kept other rules from the previous year of classes: masks outdoors, ramped-up cleaning processes and testing everyone on campus every two weeks.

The universal testing means the college catches asymptomatic cases less-stringent testing procedures may miss.

The college recorded 12 positive staff cases since it started tracking this semester’s numbers in August as well. Livingstone Chief Operating Officer Anthony Davis told the Post all the cases are breakthroughs because everyone on campus is vaccinated. Breakthrough cases occur when someone contracts COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated.

“That doesn’t surprise me because when they leave our bubble, they go into the community and communities where the delta variant is the dominant strain,” Davis said, noting there are nearly 700 students who live on campus.

The delta variant is primarily marked by its high replication rate, making it more infectious than previous variants.

The college also just wrapped up its homecoming activities, which took place last week. To attend any of the events, the college required anyone entering campus to provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours. The college offered free testing to anyone planning to attend.

The college canceled its homecoming parade, but later moved ahead with a procession of the royal court, student government association, cheerleaders and band prior to the homecoming game on Saturday.

At the time, Livingstone President Jimmy Jenkins said the college realized people were looking forward to homecoming because the festivities were canceled in 2020.

Davis said the Livingstone’s control procedures have been a success so far, but the college will be testing this week to see where its numbers land after homecoming.

“We believe that we would not have been this successful had we not made it a mandate,” Davis said.

The college is testing 1,000-1,100 people every other week as part of its universal program through partner organization Ottendorf Laboratories, which the college holds a majority stake in, and is providing testing through Ottendorf to areas throughout the state.

The college has not had conversations about requiring booster shots if they are approved for the adult population across the board. Davis said he does not believe there will be much vaccine hesitancy for getting boosters among people who have already been fully vaccinated.

“Right now we want to maintain our position that the safest way to execute our mission in this current environment is to require that everyone be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and leverage the other mitigating strategies,” Davis said.

Comments

Elections

Rowan Board of Elections criticized for debating replacement of poll supervisor

Business

NC Small Business Administration official talks to Rowan Chamber about pandemic help

Local

Spencer aldermen, mayor candidates talk town’s future

Local

Firms hoping to lead Salisbury manager search will make pitches to council members Friday

Education

$2.24 million grant will major boost to Livingstone College STEM programs

Crime

Salisbury man arrested for running from deputies in smoke shop, tossing gun under table

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with indecent liberties, first degree sex offense

News

Council to discuss potential changes to Downtown Revitalization Incentive grant program

Local

Election 2021: Bowman challenging Taylor in Rockwell mayor’s race

News

Public safety, city manager, economy: Mayoral candidates Alexander, Heggins discuss city’s biggest issues

Elections

Political Notebook: Rowan Democratic Party makes endorsements for municipal races

Local

Spencer looking for big impact from new storefront grants

Granite Quarry

Election 2021: Granite Quarry’s new mayor will be a veteran or a newcomer

Ask Us

Ask Us: If I received my vaccine in another county, is it recorded in Rowan?

Local

Young entrepreneur raises $1,000 for Rowan County United Way with lemonade stand

News

Election 2021: Candidates in East Spencer hoping to continue moving town forward

News

Election 2021: Candidates detail their visions, goals if elected to Salisbury City Council

China Grove

Election 2021: China Grove Town Council candidates detail approaches to handling economic, residential growth

Cleveland

Election 2021: Four candidates competing for three seats in town of Cleveland

Local

County hopes software will streamline foster home licensing process

Local

Election 2021:Four vie for pair of seats on Granite Quarry board

High School

High school volleyball: Carson tops Mustangs again

News

Judge: No waiting on NC budget to act on school funding

Nation/World

2 more House Democrats retiring, underscoring 2022 obstacles