Temple halts in-person classes for two weeks after student COVID-19 cases top 100

The university has seen a spike of active COVID-19 cases since students returned to campus.

Temple University will suspend in-person classes for two weeks. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Updated at 5:26 p.m.

Temple University announced Sunday it would transition to virtual instruction until Sept. 11 after reporting 103 active COVID-19 cases among students, an increase from seven cases a week ago

Only classes deemed essential will be held in person during the two week period, according to the announcement.

Temple was among a few universities in the Philadelphia area to go forward with its plan for a hybrid of in-person and online classes and to keep residence halls open before the fall semester began. The University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and La Salle University all announced they would transition to mainly online instruction prior to their semesters beginning.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health asked students not to attend social gatherings of any size outside of their households on Aug. 29 in response to the outbreak, The Temple News reported

“It’s not that students are having large parties, it is small social gatherings,” said Ray Betzner, a spokesperson for the university. 

“It’s a combination of students who have been coming in with symptoms and students who have been coming in as a result of contact tracing,” Betzner added. “The numbers in the residence halls remain relatively low.”

The university has so far conducted more than 5,000 COVID-19 tests in the past two weeks, according to the announcement.

Temple is hopeful students can return to in-person classes, but will make that decision later, according to the announcement. 

“The obvious hope is by doing this we’ll be able to identify the factors that are involved here and reduce the uptick in growth of cases,” Betzner said.

Charles Library, the TECH Center and the Student Center will remain open, as will residence and dining halls. Employees working on campus should continue to do so until otherwise notified, according to the announcement. 

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health will partner with Temple to hold a testing event on Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Aramark STAR Complex, according to the announcement.


  1. It seems to me that EVERY student caught at any sort of “party” or gathering (NIC their roommates) should be suspended and sent home immediately. How else is Temple going to make the point unequivocally clear to young people, who are putting others at risk? This is insane.

  2. It isn’t a Temple problem, it is a problem in general. There is no way to control kids not wearing mask just as much as not controlling adults…..I was on campus and the compliance I saw was pretty impressive.

  3. Returning students to campus at a pandemic peak is ridiculous. Do you actually think a bunch of 18 year olds living closely together in a building will comply with masks and not have parties? They’ve been back a week and there are 150 infected students. This number will only skyrocket. There is a thing called an illusion and a thing called reality. This is delusional. Idiots.

  4. Read and EXPAND the content of “WHAT CAN YOU DO”… the list does not mention wearing a face covering to protect yourself and others and the content of washing hands does not mention the use of soap which is vital to kill the virus.

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