SALISBURY, NC – As the Blue Bears plan to come out of hibernation to celebrate homecoming, Livingstone College administration has announced its safety protocols to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Homecoming will take place Oct. 2-9 with a myriad of activities under the theme, “The Awakening,” with the hashtag #hibernationszover.
The Livingstone College COVID-19 Task Force proposed the following protocols that were approved by Livingstone President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr.:
· All faculty, staff and students have received the COVID-19 vaccine as mandated for in-person instruction and employment for fall 2021. However, as the college seeks to ensure the health, safety and well-being of the entire campus footprint, Livingstone College will require a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of any homecoming event for all faculty, staff and students.
· To gain entrance onto the campus beginning Oct. 2, all campus guests must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test within the past 72 hours, accompanied with a photo ID. The college understands that some members of the community are vaccinated, however, although minimal, breakthrough transmission can occur among the vaccinated population. The test result can be a printed or digital copy. As an example, anyone planning to attend an event on Oct. 3, should take a COVID-19 PCR test no later than Sept. 30. Extra personnel and officers will be on hand to ensure this protocol is enforced. This protocol is also in effect for events at the college’s School of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts, located at 530 Jake Alexander Blvd. South.
· The homecoming parade has been canceled. However, there will be a spirited procession of the Royal Court, Student Government Association, cheerleaders and band from Price Drive to Alumni Memorial Stadium prior to the game, which begins at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 9.
· Livingstone College will provide free COVID-19 testing beginning Sept. 28 to anyone planning to attend homecoming festivities.
· Livingstone College will also make available the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines Sept. 28 through Oct. 9 to the general public. No appointments necessary.
· Mask wearing is mandatory for all indoor events.
“We have tried to be very deliberate, detailed and decisive regarding how the college executes homecoming 2021 with a special emphasis on the health, safety and well-being for all parties concerned,” said Dr. Anthony J. Davis, the college’s COVID-19 Task Force chair, senior vice president and chief operating officer. “Inconvenience is the trade off for in-person homecoming activities. COVID-19 is not going anywhere, so we have to learn how to maneuver, manage and mitigate.”
“The good news is that the show will go on,” said Jenkins. “We realize that everyone is looking forward to reuniting this year at homecoming after it was canceled last year. It’s an important and celebratory occasion, especially for our alumni. However, we must be diligent in how we honor this tradition while at the same time, preserve lives and mitigate the virus.”
For more information about homecoming activities, visit: http://livingstone.edu/homecoming/