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HBCU students keeping COVID-19 count low at their schools

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The daily number of positive COVID-19 tests increased by 3,200 after colleges resumed classes throughout the country

As schools and colleges are reopening nationwide amid the ever present coronavirus pandemic, students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) are leading by example when it comes to containing the spread of the virus around their campuses.

According to The Guardian, positive cases of COVID-19 have been low at HBCU’s compared to other colleges around America. Brian Bridges, vice president of research and member engagement for the United Negro College Fund, states that the students are working and cooperating well with school administrators in terms of avoiding large crowds. He also attributes it to the fact that several of these schools are still doing online classes due to lack of resources.

Students and members of the administration at Howard University hold a rally on the campus of the university April 11, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“[HBCUs] enroll a population that has been ravaged disproportionately by COVID: an African American population that is predominantly low-income,” says Bridges. He continued by saying that the colleges “were trying to be mindful of the needs of their students.”

In contrast, several other universities with majority white enrollment have had to shutdown after reopening. A report show that institutions had to reverse course and close after initially allowing students to come back to campus. This includes The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), which had to close its classroom doors after 1,000 students tested positive after starting the fall semester attending in-person classes. This was largely due to students still not adhering to social distancing protocols and throwing parties.

READ MORE: HBCUs experiencing lower COVID-19 infection rates: report

Overall, the daily number of positive COVID-19 tests increased by 3,200 after colleges resumed classes throughout the country.

The feat of low coronavirus count at HBCU’s is particularly comforting known how much the pandemic has disproportionately affected Black Americans in the nation compared to white Americans. However, with over 70 percent of HBCU students requiring financial aid via Pell grants, the campuses are still necessary for students who need to access proper resources to continue their education if they don’t have them at their homes.

“Institutions have been trying to be mindful about reopening because their students need them,” Bridges said. “For many of the students on their campuses, they’re the safest, most stable, most secure place that those students can be. Where they have reliable access to Wi-FI, where they have a regular and quiet place to study in their dorm room.

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