Unvaccinated student-athletes tested daily

Tanya Tatum, director of Student Health Services at FAMU. Photo by Izzy Young

This is the first year back on campus since the outbreak of COVID-19, and you know what that means:

FAMU athletics is back in action.

But with the pandemic still an ongoing threat, it is important to keep FAMU’s athletes healthy to continue to create history as they begin their first season in a new athletic convergence, the SWAC.

“I can confidently say that this year the health department has been really adamant about keeping our health a priority  since we’ve been back on campus,” FAMU cheerleader Alicia Goode said.

According to FAMU’s  website, the university’s COVID test site has performed more than 468,000 tests.

Goode said that as a cheerleader the athletic department requires her to get tested every day. And in order to participate in practice or games, each cheerleader must submit a negative test result daily.  This is done to help keep some type of control on the outbreak of COVID-19.

Goode said  that she eventually got annoyed with getting tested every day and decided to get vaccinated.

“I just got the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and since I’ve taken that, I am no longer required to submit daily tests anymore,” Goode said.

Tanya Tatum, director of Student Health Services at FAMU, said that athletes are a special group on campus. They are with each other a majority of the time, and  they work hard together, practice and most times eat together, Tatum said. Due to this they have higher protocols that they must follow.

“Some of the protocols are established by the university,” Tatum said. “But more importantly the athletes follow the guidelines of the Southwest Athletic Conference.”

Along with maintaining good hand hygiene and the usage of masks, Tatum said that she highly encourages all athletes to get vaccinated to help manage the spread of COVID-19.

FAMU’s athletes have been beneficiaries of enhanced cleaning protocols, easy accessibility to testing and vaccinations.

The school takes pride in its athletes and ensuring that their health is secure.

FAMU has a COVID testing site at 2507 Wahnish Way, across the street from FAMU PD headquarters.

The location is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

FAMU’s vaccination site is located on 659 Ardelia Court. This location offers Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Other local locations such as CVS, Walgreens, and Publix offer free COVID tests and vaccinations.