Temple moves courses online for fall semester

The university operated under a hybrid of in-person and online learning for the first week of the semester before a spike in COVID-19 cases among students.

The Howard Gittis Student Center Game Room that once operated as a socially-distant classroom now sits empty after the university's announcement to suspend in-person teaching on Sept 3. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

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Temple University is suspending all non-essential in-person instruction for the remainder of the Fall 2020 semester after reporting 212 cases of COVID-19 among students, President Richard Englert and Provost JoAnne Epps announced in an email Thursday morning.

The announcement follows the university’s two week suspension of non-essential in-person learning that began on Aug. 31. 

Temple will not require students in university housing to leave campus for the remainder of the semester. However, students who choose to leave university housing by Sept. 13 will be fully refunded for their housing and meal plans.

Employees working on campus will continue to do so until otherwise notified by a supervisor. 

“Like so many of our colleagues around the country, we believed an in-person educational experience could be part of students’ lives this fall,” Englert said in the announcement. “Our students told us loud and clear that they wanted to come back to campus, to be together again.”

The announcement is coming a day after the Philadelphia Department of Public Health reported a 15 percent positivity rate among students from a testing event on Main Campus Monday.

“Each step of the way, our decisions have been data driven,” Englert wrote in the announcement.

Temple considers courses essential if their educational objectives cannot be achieved without all or some in-person instruction, according to the announcement. Approximately 95 percent of all courses will be online.

In Temple’s return plan for reopening campus, the university said it would be prepared to move to all online instruction if necessary.


  1. You need to provide the number of tests, symptoms of illness, and lot more context. The raw numbers mean very little.

  2. I would like to see the provided graph overlaid with the number of tests done per day.Not enough context has been provided! How many test were done per day verses how many of those tests were positive?

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