Temple University has lifted its indoor mask mandate for all non-classroom spaces. Students will need to wear masks in labs, studios, health care facilities and shuttles, wrote Mark Denys, director of Student and Employee Health Services, in an announcement on Friday afternoon.
Masking will be optional in dining and residence halls, common areas, meeting rooms and the Liacouras Center, Denys wrote. Masking will also be optional for the university’s commencement ceremonies.
“While masks are again optional, that does not mean the pandemic is over,” Denys wrote. “Everyone should continue to consider their own personal risks and decide for themselves whether they want to continue to wear a mask in all or certain situations.”
As of April 21, there are 102 active COVID-19 cases at Temple, according to the university’s vaccine and case dashboard.
The City of Philadelphia also lifted its indoor mask mandate today — just four days after reinstating it on April 18 — except in health care and congregate settings.
Philadelphia was the first major city in the United States to reinstate its indoor mask mandate.
The Department of Public Health decided to reverse the move because COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations decreased, said Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole during a Friday morning press briefing. The city is still recommending that people wear masks indoors.
“We’re saying we’re not mandating at this point, which means we’re not using the ability to kind of trigger a mandate based on the metrics we had announced in February,” Bettigole said.
Philadelphia reported 57 new COVID-19 cases on April 20, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health case dashboard.