A week after Florida A&M’s homecoming, students fear a possible spike in COVID’s
With students and alumni flooding to “the hill” to celebrate the university and seasonal
sickness on the rise, many anticipate a COVID-19 surge.
Since March of 2020, COVID-19 has impacted the Tallahassee community. According to
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Leon County has had 106,906 cases
and around 700 deaths.
“I think people haven’t been getting tested for COVID as much due to them being
asymptotic from getting the vaccine,” Ramiah Raiford, a FAMU student, said. "I don’t
feel like getting tested and getting booster shots is really stressful as much as it was
back in the beginning of the pandemic.”
Raiford, a third-year student, arrived at FAMU during the height of the pandemic. Her
first two semesters at the university were virtual, and Raiford is fearful that a rise in
cases will lead to classes going back to remote.
“The city was flooded. It seemed like Tallahassee was overcapacity during homecoming
week. With people traveling from all over to the city for all of the homecoming festivities,
it would be naive to think that at least one or two people didn’t come with COVID,”
Raiford said. “Super spreads are real.”
“Homecoming is a time when people are giving lots of hugs and handshakes. I barely
saw any masks, so I wouldn’t be surprised if cases rose in the city,” she added. “I just
don’t want that to affect our in-person classes.”
According to a biweekly COVID-19 update provided by Florida Health Leon County on
Oct. 24, the positive case rate decreased by 4.8%. This number was recorded October
14–20, just one week before homecoming festivities took place.
With there being no indication of COVID-19 numbers rising, healthcare worker and
FAMU alumna Krystal Washington still has some concerns.
“I don’t think it’s going to get as bad as it was in March of 2020, but you really never
know,” Washington said, "COVID-19 has already taken a lot from us, so I think we as a
university could have done a better job at protecting the FAMUly. I know we were all
excited to see one another, but we can’t let our guard down. Wash your hands, get
vaccinated, and stay masked up.”
Visit the FAMU Testing Center at 2507 Wahnish Way, Monday through Saturday from 8
a.m. to 4 p.m. for free COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.