Deleware State Becomes the Latest HBCU to Require All Students and Staff Be Vaccinated Before Returning to Campus in the Fall
Posted By: Kennedy Williams on May 05, 2021 |
With the major COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, many people believe that vaccinations provide a clear path out of this pandemic. We shared last month that HBCUs like Spelman, Morehouse, Clark Atlanta, and Hampton have announced that students and staff will be required to receive one of the three COVID-19 vaccines before being able to return to campus in the fall. Well today, Deleware State joined that list and announced that they will be requiring the same. To find out more about why DSU made this decision, check out the full press release below:
Delaware State University officials announced at a community forum today that all students and employees will be required to present proof of COVID-19 vaccinations to return to campus in August for the Fall 2021 semester. The only exceptions to this policy will be individuals with an approved medical or religious exemption.
President Tony Allen emphasized that the vaccination requirement is the logical extension of the University’s nationally recognized COVID-19 testing regime, which has kept virus positives down to an average of 0.5% among students and employees. “Our testing program in collaboration with Testing for America allowed us to bring back about 70% of our residential population last year for mostly hybrid courses.
The vaccination requirement permits us to open up more space at both the University’s main campus and as well as the soon to be acquired Wesley College campus, and to return to our normal methods of course delivery.”
In requiring vaccinations the University is following the guidelines established by the American College Health Association that “COVID-19 vaccination is the most effective way for institutions of higher education to return to a safe, robust on-campus experience for students in fall semester 2021. Therefore, where state law and available resources allow, ACHA recommends COVID-19 vaccination requirements for all on-campus college and university students for fall semester 2021.”
Dr. Michelle Fisher, the University’s Chief Medical Officer, noted that many students have already received at least their first injections during a number of on-campus vaccination events. “Hundreds of students have taken advantage of these opportunities,” Fisher said. “For those who need assistance in getting their second shot, we are working to help them find venues at home to finish the series.”
The University will permit legitimate, documented medical and religious exemptions, according the University’s General Counsel LaKresha Moultrie. “We will work with everyone with a special situation,” Moultrie said, “but it helps to know about potential issues as early as possible.” She added that anyone who claims such an exemption will have to provide supporting documentation to the University.
Dr. Joan Coker of Testing for America also spoke at the community forum, and addressed the issue of vaccination myths and misinformation. “”Despite the myths and misinformation surrounding the issue of COVID vaccinations, all of the existing vaccines are safe and effective,” she said “I encourage everyone to collaborate on keeping the University community safe by getting vaccinated before returning this fall.”
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