Leaders of historically Black colleges and universities are grappling with a challenge others in higher education don’t fully share: how to reopen their campuses to a population that has proven especially vulnerable to Covid-19.
Black people are dying at 2.5 times the rate of white people, according to the Covid Racial Data Tracker. And nearly a third of deaths among nonwhite Americans were in people younger than 65, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, compared with 13 percent among white people under that age.
“We have to acknowledge and recognize that African Americans with comorbidities have fared far worse in this pandemic than any other group,” said Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick in an interview. “I think, for an HBCU in particular, there’s a lot of differences in terms of opening that are probably a little more accentuated because of our circumstances.”