LeMoyne Owen president celebrates news of COVID-19 rapid test

Watch: LeMoyne Owen president celebrates news of COVID-19 rapid test

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Trump administration is sending more than half a million COVID-19 rapid results tests to historically black colleges and universities.

Interim LeMoyne Owen College President Dr. Carol Johnson welcomed access to faster testing. Johnson said the school, with help from Methodist Hospital, tested all students before they moved into their dorm rooms.

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Not only has COVID-19 made it a challenge to keep students at the historically black college safe, but there’s also the added complication of the disproportionate effect and death rate from the virus on the African American community.

“We know a lot of our students may be living with older relatives or families who are more susceptible and there can be more spread,” said Johnson.

Freshman CJ Richard hoped rapid tests would mean he could actually get inside a classroom for the first time in his college experience.

“When I thought I’d be a freshman at college, I thought I’d be going to classes, attend clubs and everything. But with the COVID, I’m missing out on that,” said Richard.

Like many HBCU’s LeMoyne Owen leaders often feel forgotten when national conversations about education happen. That’s one reason Johnson celebrated the news.

"We applaud the efforts to increase interest and support of historically black colleges because they really have been the access points for many families,' said Johnson.

In the next few weeks, all LeMoyne Owen staff and students will be offered free flu shots.