COVID-19 testing at Temple

Dear Temple students,

As an Owl, you have an essential part to play in the effort to keep campus and the surrounding community safe this fall. So, as the start of the fall 2020 semester quickly approaches, it’s important that you know about, and are prepared to be part of, the university’s COVID-19 testing plan in order to keep yourself and others healthy and protected. The plan includes three parts, which will be reevaluated in September to gauge changes in demand for testing and to accommodate any new testing technologies that may become available.

Part one
To ensure that we are able to move forward with successfully opening the university, all students who are coming to Temple for the fall semester were asked in an email sent on July 30 to self-quarantine for 14 days prior to arriving on campus. And to further safeguard lives, the university will test all students moving into on-campus housing for the fall 2020 semester. If you are moving into Temple housing, you will be tested for COVID-19 on your move-in day. However, if you moved in prior to Aug. 17, you will be tested on Aug. 17, when testing begins. If your move-in time is after 4 p.m., you’ll be tested the next day.


  • This mandatory, on-campus testing will begin Monday, Aug. 17 at the Aramark STAR Complex on Main Campus. The test is free of charge for students in Temple housing.
  • All students will be tested on the day of their arrival, unless you move in
    • prior to Aug. 17, you will be tested on Aug. 17.
    • after 4 p.m., you will be tested the next day.
    • Aug. 22 or Aug. 23, you will be tested Aug. 24.
  • The testing company, Genetworx, will send an email to your Temple email address from to schedule your appointment. All tests are by appointment only.
  • Once your test is received by the lab, your results will be available within 72 hours.
  • Any student who tests positive for COVID-19 will be asked to return home or directed to designated on-campus housing to isolate for a minimum 10 days as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • NOTE: Access to Temple’s buildings, including Temple residence halls, will be revoked for any student who refuses to be tested.

In addition, any students, both those living on and off campus, as well as any faculty or staff who have traveled in the past 14 days from a “hot state” will also be tested for COVID-19, in accordance with guidance issued by the city of Philadelphia. If you have been to one of these states within the past 14 days, you will need to log your travel in the Travel Tracker form on TUportal to help the university with any potential contact tracing efforts. After completing this form, you will receive further instructions from Health Services.

Part two
As the semester gets underway, students, faculty and staff who experience COVID-19 symptoms should contact Student or Employee Health Services to discuss healthcare options. If you’ve come into close contact with someone who has tested positive, you will be notified by the university’s contact tracing team and will be provided with instructions on quarantining and testing. Tests will be administered through the university’s newly established testing center and offered by appointment only.

Part three
Throughout September, the university will continue testing both symptomatic and asymptomatic students, faculty and staff each week as a safety precaution and to help identify any potential clusters of positive cases on campus. Regular testing across the university will enable Health Services, if necessary, to act quickly to limit the spread of the disease. Temple’s team of contact tracers will work hand-in-hand with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health to identify close contacts of positive cases so that they may be tested and follow proper quarantine protocols. The privacy of all involved in contact-tracing efforts will be protected.

It is important to note that being tested is not a disciplinary action and there is no penalty if you test positive for COVID-19. Our primary goal is to protect the health and safety of the Temple community, and routine testing is one of the ways to do that. Johnson and Hardwick Halls have been dedicated for isolation and quarantine rooms for students in university housing who test positive or come in close contact with someone who tests positive, in order to provide a secure place to complete their isolation or quarantine period.

Our testing plan, in addition to everyone’s commitment to the four public health pillars, is the best way for us to meet the goals of our return to campus: safeguarding lives, creating safe learning environments and connecting students with learning tools and support services, and providing the quality education Temple students expect and deserve.

As always, we’re in this together, so we can be together.


Mark Denys
Senior Director, Student and Employee Health Services