Public health programs see surge in students amid pandemic

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Kelsie Campbell, a student at Florida International University in Miami, poses for a photo on campus, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. When Campbell, who is part Jamaican and part British, heard in both the British and American media that Black and ethnic minorities were being disproportionately hurt by the pandemic, she wanted to focus on why. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Public health programs have seen a surge in enrollment as the coronavirus has swept through the U.S., killing more than 247,000 people. As state and local public health departments struggle with slashed budgets, surging demand and threats to workers’ safety, a new generation is entering the field, determined to help fight the coronavirus and other public health challenges. The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health says applications to master’s in public health programs increased 20% this year, to nearly 40,000. Sarah Keeley is studying at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to become an epidemiologist. She says, “This is something that’s going to be necessary.”

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