Temple University is requiring students, faculty and staff to wear masks indoors and in enclosed spaces during the Fall 2021 semester, but will not require COVID-19 vaccinations, according to an announcement from President Jason Wingard and Executive Vice President and Provost JoAnne Epps Tuesday evening.
The university will encourage students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated. Unvaccinated students will be required to participate in “enhanced” weekly COVID-19 testing and will be restricted from participating in group activities, gatherings and university-sponsored travel, according to the announcement.
Temple may change its mask and vaccine policies based on new information and regulatory approval of vaccines, according to the announcement.
The announcement comes two months after Temple announced that fully vaccinated students would not be required to wear masks or be tested for COVID-19 in the fall, The Temple News reported. Temple only considers students fully vaccinated if they have uploaded their vaccination card to the student health portal.
Temple is one of the only local universities not requiring students to be vaccinated. Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University first required vaccines in April, Villanova University required vaccines in June and the Community College of Philadelphia required vaccines in August.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance in July recommending people wear masks in public indoor spaces regardless of their vaccination status, according to the CDC website.
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health also recommended in July that all city residents wear masks indoors as the COVID-19 Delta variant causes local cases to rise, according to a July press release.
As of the first week in August, there have been 992 positive COVID-19 tests in Philadelphia, according to the city’s testing dashboard.