By Amoni Lewis/Clarion News
JEFFERSON CITY – In effort to combat COVID-19 outbreaks on college campuses, the Trump administration says HBCUs will soon be receiving coronavirus rapid-tests. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently began shipping more than 500,000 total BinaxNOW rapid coronavirus tests to 71 of the 100-plus historically Black schools located across the nation.
According to The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, African- Americans are five times more likely to be hospitalized due to the coronavirus. HBCUs have predominantly minority faculty with underlying health conditions making them a greater-risk demographic. This could lead to an outbreak on HBCU campuses.
Each college institution will receive enough kits to test every student, faculty and staff member. The schools will be resupplied as often as necessary but will initially receive between 3,000 and 10,000 tests.
The names of the HBCUs that will receive the BinaxNOW rapid coronavirus tests are unknown at this time. Leasa Weghorst, Director of Student Health and Counseling Services at Lincoln University of Missouri, is unsure when the HBCU will receive the tests, but hopes the time is soon so the university can be equipped with the services needed to remain safe.
(Kyessence Collins contributed to this article)