Virginia HBCU Hampton University is a vaccinated island in a sea of COVID.⁠

Posted by HBCU News on

Virginia HBCU Hampton University is a vaccinated island in a sea of COVID.⁠

As it marks its return to in-person classes, Hampton University, a prominent historically Black college known colloquially as “Home by the Sea,” is setting an example of how to navigate the coronavirus pandemic.⁠

The school, which is located in Hampton, Va., has required that students be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, mandated masks in the classroom and taken efforts to curb the spread of the virus at large gatherings.⁠

But despite these measures, the college is something of an island, smack in the middle of a raging COVID ocean. In recent weeks, the city of Hampton has seen a dramatic spike in cases of COVID-19, thanks to the spread of the Delta variant. In August alone, health officials reported 1,533 new cases there, in a city whose population is roughly 135,000.⁠

One Hampton University freshman told Yahoo News that she was horrified when she left the campus bubble to venture out locally.⁠

“Going to the local Waffle House in Hampton, there was this woman who looked visibly sick — red eyes, pale skin, with no mask — serving us food. But in Hampton University’s cafe, they won’t even serve you if you don’t have your mask on.” The freshman also recalled that a cafe staff member had once pulled her aside and told her to “Please, please take care of yourself, because cases are rising in the city.”⁠

While 98 percent of Hampton students have been fully inoculated against COVID-19, the percentage of the population is only 43 percent for the city where it resides.⁠

Students moved back into the college on Aug. 20, setting foot on a campus that had effectively been shuttered for 17 months, thanks to the pandemic. Before dorm check-in, they were ushered to a designated COVID-19 testing site before being allowed to unpack their cars. Temperature checks were also required for entry into many campus buildings.⁠



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