Temple University prepares for possibility of online classes

While there are no presumptive cases reported on Temple’s campuses, several cases have been reported around Philadelphia.

Temple University is preparing its students and faculty to move its courses online as cases of the coronavirus rise around the world. | DYLAN LONG / FILE PHOTO

All Temple University faculty members have been advised to plan for the possibility of moving their courses online in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, and students should prepare as well, President Richard Englert announced in an email this morning to students, faculty and staff.

The university is also working with the College of Public Health and the Wellness Resource Center to develop a public health messaging campaign to encourage behavior that lessens the spread of the virus, Englert wrote. Temple is taking “additional measures” to ensure its buildings are disinfected and cleaned as well, he wrote.

“We also want to tell you what medical experts have repeatedly told us: This is not a time for panic, but for preparation in order to make well-informed decisions,” Englert wrote. “We have been gathering expertise from our vast Temple community, as well as city, national and international experts.”

No students, faculty or staff on Main Campus or other campuses have been diagnosed with the virus, but the university has moved courses online for the remainder of the semester for students studying at Temple Rome and temporarily online for those studying at Temple Japan. The university has also advised students returning from both countries to self-monitor for 14 days before returning to campus.

The university is also asking the Temple community to fill out a questionnaire regarding where they traveled during spring break. This survey is available in TUportal under the COVID-19 tab.

While there are no confirmed cases in Philadelphia, there are four presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery County and one presumptive case in Delaware County, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

COVID-19 is a part of the coronavirus family, which causes respiratory tract diseases and illnesses, The Temple News reported. Symptoms of the virus include mild or severe respiratory illness including a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, according to the CDC. 

The CDC advises those who feel sick with a cough, fever, have a hard time breathing and have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 or live in an area or recently traveled from an area with an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, to call a health care professional.

To avoid the virus, do not touch your mouth, eyes, ears, or nose, avoid close contact with people who are sick and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, according to the CDC.

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