Pfeiffer strongly encourages but will not require students, staff to get vaccinated
Published 2:55 pm Thursday, July 29, 2021
With colleges and universities across the country making decisions regarding whether to impose vaccine mandates for the upcoming school year, Pfeiffer University, as of now, will not require proof of vaccination for its students or faculty.
While vaccinations will not be required, Pfeiffer has been “strongly encouraging” its students and staff to get the shot, according to Casey Habich, director of marketing and communications for the university.
With cases continuing to spike across the country, including in Stanly, Habich did acknowledge that things could change.
“As things move forward and data shifts, it’s something that we’re constantly evaluating,” he said.
Habich said that when it comes to masks, the college’s current policy has not changed since last school year. Students and staff are required to wear them in all shared public spaces. But that policy too could shift depending on new guidance by Gov. Roy Cooper or the CDC.
Since last August, Pfeiffer has reported 115 total coronavirus cases, though there are no active cases at this time.
Classes for the upcoming school year are set to begin Aug. 17.
Pfeiffer President Dr. Scott Bullard recently talked last week about why he decided to get vaccinated. He said he did so to protect the people he regularly comes into contact with.
“On a communal level, as a member of the community, my position requires me to interact not only with young people and to be a model for young people but I’m often interacting over meals and other environments with the elderly and other at-risk populations in our community,” he said. “I want to protect those people and I think getting vaccinated is a great way to protect others.”
Similar to Pfeiffer, Stanly Community College will not require vaccinations but is “strongly recommending” students and staff get inoculated, said SCC President Dr. John Enamait. Masks are not required indoors for fully vaccinated people, but SCC strongly encourages the unvaccinated to wear them.
The first day of classes begin Aug. 18.
Stanly County COVID-19 trends like hospitalizations, positivity rate and daily cases have spiked in recent weeks, due to an increase of COVID-19 cases likely due to the delta variant. The county reported 72 new cases last week, a 106 percent increase from the week prior, according to Stanly County Health Department data. Through Wednesday, there have been 76 new cases this week with eight people hospitalized.
Stanly continues to lag behind most other counties in the state when it comes to vaccinations. As of Thursday, roughly 35 percent of residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and about 32 percent are fully vaccinated, according to state public health data.
For younger residents in the county, about 10 percent of people ages 12 to 17 and 19 percent of people ages 18 to 24 are fully vaccinated, well below the state rates for those populations.