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Livingstone College will begin second semester Monday with beefed-up testing protocols

SALISBURY – Livingstone College starts its second semester on Monday and doubled down on COVID-19 prevention.

Everyone is being entrance tested for COVID-19 again. This semester, the college also is testing for COVID-19 every two weeks instead of every four. The college disinfected facilities with electrostatic sprayers and had an antimicrobial finish applied to surfaces again.

“We are doing aggressive testing for every student, faculty and staff member,” said Livingstone Chief Operating Officer Anthony Davis.

Davis said the college hopes to stay ahead of the curve on potential spikes and the impact of new strains with the more aggressive schedule. The college is also offering tests to community members during testing periods.

The college is also enforcing mask and social distance protocols. Davis, who is heading up the college’s COVID-19 response, described it as a masked campus and emphasized the importance of buy-in from the campus.

The result of the college’s protocols is fewer than 20 cases last semester. The college also adjusted its schedule, starting the second semester about a month later than normal and sending students home early last semester in an effort to avoid anticipated spikes impacting the campus.

“I think the timing was perfect,” Davis said.

The spikes came as expected, with Rowan County seeing rising cases during the late fall and a peak in the pandemic in early-to-mid January before new positives have begun to recede over the past few weeks. Davis said the campus is a safe place because of the measures the college has taken. When surveyed, students said they wanted to come back to be on campus.

“On a campus that serves a population that is adversely affected by this disease, for students to want to be here excites me,” Davis said. “What they’re saying is no pandemic is going to derail me from achieving my goal of obtaining a quality education.”

Davis said people on campus are scared of the coronavirus, but they are coming to campus and following the protocols to help put the pandemic behind them.

Catawba College, the other four-year institution in Salisbury, began classes two weeks ago, also later than usual.

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