Temple confirms return to in-person classes, tightens mask guidelines

The university is requiring students to wear KN95 masks, double-mask or wear surgical masks in all buildings.

Temple University will resume in-person instruction for the Spring 2022 semester on Jan. 24. | NOEL CHACKO / FILE

Temple University will resume in-person instruction for the Spring 2022 semester on Jan. 24, as planned, but with updated guidelines for masking, wrote Gregory Mandel, senior vice president and provost in an announcement to students Friday morning.

Temple students and employees are required to wear KN95 masks, surgical masks with cloth masks over them or surgical masks with multiple layers of nonwoven materials when inside campus buildings. Students are not permitted to wear only cloth masks, Mandel wrote. 

Next week, Temple will provide a limited number of KN95 masks to students on Main Campus at the Charles Library security desk, the TECH Center security desk, the Howard Gittis Student Center information desk and the Bell Building on Montgomery Avenue near 12th Street, Mandel wrote. 

On Dec. 22, Temple announced it would pivot to virtual instruction for the first two weeks of the Spring 2022 semester as COVID-19 cases rose with the spread of the virus’ Omicron variant. The university delayed move-in for students living in residence halls until Jan. 22, but in-person campus services — like Student Health Services, dining halls and libraries — remain open.

There are 312 active COVID-19 cases among Temple students and employees as of Jan. 19, according to Temple’s vaccine and case dashboard. The City of Philadelphia has confirmed more than 250,000 active cases of COVID-19 as of Jan. 19, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s COVID-19 case dashboard

Temple is also encouraging all students to get tested for COVID-19, before returning to in-person activities and to submit their test results to the Patient Health Portal. Students who contracted COVID-19 during winter break should upload their test results to the Patient Health Portal and not test again for 90 days unless symptomatic, Mandel wrote. 

Students who live in residence halls and can’t get tested before returning to campus must schedule an appointment at a university testing clinic within 24 hours of their arrival, Mandel wrote. 

Appointments can be scheduled through the Patient Health Portal and testing clinics will be open on Jan. 22 and Jan. 23 before resuming normal operations on Jan. 24.

The university will also follow guidance from the Centers for Disease and Prevention by requiring students who test positive for COVID-19 to isolate for five days. Students can leave isolation on the sixth day after if they are fever-free with improving symptoms, but should still continue to wear a mask around others for another five days.

Students who were exempted from Temple’s vaccine mandate last semester are still required to get regularly tested for COVID-19 if they’re on campus, or they risk losing access to campus buildings, Mandel wrote. 

Temple also recommends all eligible students and employees get booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, and upload proof to the Patient Health Portal.  

Individuals are eligible for a booster shot at least five months after receiving their second dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Students and employees can make appointments to get their booster shots at locations on and near Main Campus like Student Health Services, Temple Health, city vaccination sites and local pharmacies.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.