On March 11, Temple University suspended all in-person operations and moved classes online as Philadelphia reported its first case of COVID-19 the day before.
Eight months later, the city is reporting 55,302 COVID-19 cases and has deemed that the city has a “high risk of community transmission,” according to the City of Philadelphia.
Some Temple students will soon be heading home on Nov. 20 for fall break, and the university will modify or suspend most in-person operations for the remainder of the semester. While students are more than ready for their much needed break, the Editorial Board urges students, whether they’re going home for break, coming back to Philadelphia or staying near Main Campus, to continue exercising COVID-19 precautions as cases rise nationwide.
On Nov. 13, the United States recorded 184,000 new COVID-19 cases, the fourth consecutive day the country has set the record for daily infections, NPR reported.
That same day, the U.S. reported more than 1,400 deaths, the most any country has seen in a given day, NPR further reported.
The Editorial Board cannot stress enough the severity of this pandemic and the importance of following local COVID-19 protocol.
The City of Philadelphia recommends celebrating the holidays by hosting small gatherings with household members, ordering groceries and doing holiday shopping online, as well as connecting with friends and extended family virtually, according to a Nov. 10 press release.
Philadelphia will ban indoor gatherings, reduce capacity limits for outdoor dining and retail stores and close high schools, gyms, museums and libraries beginning Nov. 20 until Jan 1, 2021, as a result of rising COVID-19 cases, The Temple News reported.
With cases rising, the Editorial Board wants students to take the pandemic as seriously as they did at the beginning. Students should continue to wear masks in indoor public spaces and in outdoor spaces and remain more than six feet away from people who do not live in their household.
While the virus has inevitably brought its way into our everyday lives, as mask-wearing and frequent hand-washing have become a new normal, we still need to acknowledge that COVID-19 has not gone away within the last few months, nor will it in the near future.
Students should get tested and begin quarantining if they haven’t already if they’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, according to the City of Philadelphia.
The university is offering free testing from Nov. 16 through Nov. 20 at Mitten Hall, or students can visit one of several testing sites near Main Campus.
No matter where we may be going or staying after Nov. 20, it is imperative we continue to follow COVID-19 protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the measurements for proper social distancing. It has since been corrected.