SC college achieves 100% COVID vaccination rate among athletes, coaches

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A South Carolina college was awarded after 100% of its athletes, trainers and coaches got vaccinated against COVID-19.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control presented Benedict College, one of two historically Black colleges in Columbia, with the agency’s Community Hero Award for the achievement.

The Community Hero award is presented to groups or individuals who “have taken the initiative to be community leaders during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” DHEC said.

The award was presented the Benedict President Roslyn Clark Artis and Athletic Director Willie Washington during the Tigers’ homecoming football game last Saturday.

“On behalf of DHEC, it was our distinct honor to present to Benedict College this Community Hero Award for ensuring that all of its athletics teams, including coaches and trainers, have been fully vaccinated,” state epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said. “That is a tremendous feat, and we applaud the outstanding effort that Benedict, President Artis and the college’s leadership have made to not only keep athletes and students safe, but to also help promote disease prevention, testing and vaccination throughout their community.”

Artis said the athletes, coaches and band’s vaccination accomplishment reaffirms Benedict College’s commitment to slowing the spread of COVID-19.

“We are deeply honored to be recognized by DHEC for our pandemic safety efforts,” Artis said. “Benedict College is not just in the community, we are of the community; and we are committed to doing our part to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.”

The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, which Benedict College is a part of, announced over the summer that all athletes, coaches, staff, officials and such groups as cheerleaders and the band had to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

By late August, Benedict College announced that 100% of the football team had met that standard.

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