CHAPEL HILL — N.C. A&T and Winston-Salem State University each will get $1 million in state funding for their efforts to fight COVID-19.
A&T said it will use its grant for at least five projects, including development of an affordable fever detection system for K-12 schools and an effort to reduce deaths among older adults living in nursing homes and residential care facilities.
A&T also said it will study the economic impact of COVID-19 on Guilford and surrounding counties.
“The effects of COVID-19 on the health of racial and ethnic minorities has exposed and made even clearer the disproportionate burden of illness and death among racial and ethnic minority groups,” Lenora Campbell, dean of the university's College of Health and Human Sciences, said in a statement. “The multiple research projects to be conducted at A&T will address various facets of the new coronavirus and provide strategies for mitigating its spread, consequences and impact.”
Winston-Salem State said it will put its funding toward three projects, including one to study the effect of COVID-19 on college enrollment and social and economic mobility within African American and Latinx communities. Another WSSU study will look at the relationship between COVID-19 and poverty, disability and minority status in central North Carolina.
“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on minority communities due to grave disparities in health care access and economic mobility,” Winston-Salem State Chancellor Elwood Robinson said in a statement. “This grant will allow us to do critical work to not only help understand the myriad impacts these disparities have on people of color but also to better prepare our graduates to address those disparities.”
The UNC System announced the grants Thursday. The money will come from the N.C. Policy Collaboratory at UNC-Chapel Hill, which recently got $29 million from the state legislature to study COVID-19 treatment, prevention and community testing as well as the public health and economic effects of the disease.
All six of the state's public historically minority-serving institutions received $1 million each for research and other activities related to COVID-19. The other four UNC System schools receiving money are Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, N.C. Central University and UNC-Pembroke.