Dean of Students Stephanie Ives outlined additional details regarding Temple University’s plan to test students for COVID-19 and encourage social distancing on campus in an email to students on Aug. 23.
TESTING AND CONTACT TRACING
The university will be reaching out to students from 25 states the Philadelphia Department of Public Health has identified as “hot” states, or states that have a high count of COVID-19, The Temple News reported. These students will be asked to undergo testing.
Testing for students moving into university housing will continue, according to the email. Additionally, Student Health will be testing students “who live and work in elevated risk environments” throughout the semester, according to the email.
The email emphasized that not all students will be tested weekly, and the university will conduct sample population tests to help identify any potential clusters of positive cases on campus, according to the email.
Those who receive a positive COVID-19 test result from a center outside Temple must inform Student Health Services immediately, according to the email.
Students who test positive for COVID-19 will have their identity kept confidential.
The university’s contact tracing team will notify students who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, according to the email.
Student Community Health Ambassadors
Student “ambassadors” wearing light blue vests will be available on Main Campus this semester to help encourage students, faculty and staff to follow social distancing guidelines, Ives wrote. They will also serve as a resource, answering questions on where to get COVID-19 testing or a mask, according to the email.
Students attending class must wear masks correctly, according to the email. Professors are allowed to ask students to wear masks, and may stop or reschedule class if a student fails to comply. Any student whose behavior results in a stopped or rescheduled class may be referred to Student Conduct to face disciplinary action, Ives wrote.
Students may also face disciplinary action and exclusion from campus if they violate any city regulations or guidelines regarding parties, occupancy and gathering limits, and face masks, according to the email.
The university has set up “Zoom zones” in buildings throughout campus to allow students to attend online classes with five to 20 students in one zone. The email advises students using the zones to bring headphones and communicate with professors using the chat feature during their class. Spots will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis in most academic campus buildings, according to the email.
Both the Charles Library and the TECH Center will be open, but with reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing, according to the email.
The TECH Center’s operating hours will change Monday, Aug. 24: it will be open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Reservations can still be made through the regular online system.
Some of the study spaces in the Charles Library will still be available for reservations as well. Visitors will only be able to enter through 13th street and must exit to Liacouras Walk, Ives wrote.
A color-coded index of available services will be on TU Portal, according to the email. The colors will indicate the services that are available in person, remote only, or in a hybrid format.
Any student travelling outside of Pennsylvania who returns to campus will need to log their travel in the Travel Tracker on the TU Portal, Ives wrote. This will help with contact tracing efforts, according to the email.
SEPTA has brought back more regular services and has put public health safety measures in place, according to the email.
Students using shuttle services between Main Campus, the Health Sciences Center and Ambler Campus will have to make a reservation before their trip. Students will not be able to board shuttles without a reservation. There will be reduced capacity and expanded cleaning measures to protect riders, according to the email.
Students will be required to complete an online training about the four public health pillars Temple has outlined as being essential to a safe reopening: these are properly wearing a mask, frequent hand-washing, maintaining physical distance, and self-monitoring your own health daily. “This training will provide information on how to keep these behaviors integrated into your daily life and the rules the university has created to enforce them,” Ives wrote in the email. The training is meant to emphasize “shared responsibility” among the university community.
“We recognize that this semester is different from what anyone expected or hoped for, but the university has made a significant effort to achieve some sense of normalcy,” Ives said in the email. “Our mutual cooperation in protecting each other’s health and safety is our best path forward this fall.”