Spring 2021 testing program details

Dear Temple students, 

I am pleased to share with you more information about the previously announced COVID-19 testing plan for the spring semester at Temple. Below you will find details about COVID-19 testing groups, how to schedule and administer your tests, locations and hours of operation for campus testing sites, and where to get tested if you’re having COVID-19 symptoms. 

You will be assigned to one of five COVID-19 testing groups for the semester, which will determine the number of times per week and location of your tests. The groups have been determined based on the amount of time students are expected to spend on or in proximity to campus. 

As a general rule, if you have tested positive in the past 90 days, you should not be tested and are excluded from the mandatory requirements detailed below. Additionally, anyone in Groups One, Two, Three or Four who has received the COVID-19 vaccine should continue to be tested as a precaution.

GROUP ONE: Mandatory testing twice weekly 
This group includes

  • residents in on-campus housing,
  • students taking in-person courses that meet two or more times per week,
  • students who live in the surrounding six ZIP codes (19121, 19122, 19123, 19130, 19132 and 19133) who are taking in-person courses that meet at least one time per week, and
  • student workers in roles that require work in campus facilities for two days or more per week.

Students in Group One are to schedule their testing appointments for Mondays and Thursdays or Tuesdays and Fridays. Tests should always be scheduled at least a day apart. 

GROUP TWO: Mandatory testing once weekly 
This group includes

  • students living outside of the six ZIP code range who take in-person courses at least once per week and 
  • student workers in roles that require work in campus facilities for fewer than two days per week.

Students in Group Two are to schedule their once-weekly tests for Wednesdays, if possible. 

GROUP THREE: Optional testing once weekly
This group includes

  • students residing off campus in the six ZIP code range surrounding Temple and enrolled in a fully remote course load, and
  • students regularly coming to campus only to use facilities and services.

Students in this group may book their appointments for days that work best with their schedules, although Wednesday appointments are recommended. 

GROUP FOUR: Students assigned to clinical rotations 
This group includes

  • students enrolled in the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Kornberg School of Dentistry, School of Pharmacy, School of Podiatric Medicine and the College of Public Health. These schools will provide information on required testing to students in clinical rotations.

GROUP FIVE: Not tested 
This group includes

  • students engaging in virtual learning and using only online resources. These students will only be tested if they are symptomatic or identified as a close contact.

Appointments are required for all tests—walk-in appointments are not available. This is to help keep you safe by avoiding lines or crowding at the testing sites. Use the Patient Health Portal to schedule your appointments. If you have difficulty scheduling your appointment for any reason, please email for assistance. 

Appointments for all tests will open on Fridays for the following week throughout the semester. For example, students in Groups One and Two will receive an email on Friday, Jan. 22, to schedule their appointments for the week of Jan. 25–29. Again, students in Group One are to schedule their appointments for Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday, leaving Wednesday open for students in Group Two. 

Campus testing sites will be open on the spring Wellness Days, Tuesday, Feb. 23, and Wednesday, March 24.

Students on Main Campus will be able to schedule their appointments at the testing sites in Mitten Hall or the Student Center. The testing site in the Paley Building is designated for Temple employee testing. 

The site at Mitten Hall is located at the Great Court. This site will be open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. 

The site at the Student Center is in the Student Center South, Room 200ABC. This site will be open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Testing at the sites is reserved for asymptomatic students. Do not schedule an appointment at these sites if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. You can schedule an appointment at the Morgan Hall testing center by calling 215-204-7500 and selecting prompt 2 or by using the Patient Health Portal and selecting the Morgan Hall location.

Health Sciences Center

Three testing sites will be operating at the Health Sciences Center. 

Medical Education and Research Building (MERB) Room 105
Hours: Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Pharmacy Room 230 
Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Dental Room 374
Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

School of Podiatric Medicine 
Podiatry Residence Hall Room 126
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m to 3 p.m.

Ambler Campus 
Widener Hall Room 209
Hours: Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Though the testing sites will be staffed, tests are self-administered. This means you will be given a test kit, which includes a test tube and nasal swab, and will follow step-by-step instructions to complete the test yourself. Watch a video to learn what’s expected

Test results will be available between 12 and 36 hours after your test. Results for those who have a negative test will be texted or emailed. You can opt in to receive text messages from Student Health Services by visiting the Forms section of the Patient Health Portal. Those who receive a positive test result will get a call from a Student Health Services staff member, who will provide you with information about what you should do next

Be sure to update your contact information in TUportal to ensure we have your current phone number and address on file. You can do this by logging in to TUportal, clicking Manage My Account in the upper right corner, and selecting Manage Addresses and Phones. 

The testing center at Morgan Hall on Main Campus will continue to test those who have COVID-19 symptoms or have been identified by contact tracers as a close contact of someone who tested positive. You can schedule an appointment at the Morgan Hall testing center by calling 215-204-7500 and selecting prompt 2 or by using the Patient Health Portal and selecting the Morgan Hall location.

As always, the four public health pillars—wearing a mask, washing your hands, keeping six feet of physical distance and monitoring your health—are the best ways to prevent yourself and the broader Temple community from contracting the virus. Please continue practicing these behaviors now and throughout the spring semester. Combined with our testing program, this is the best way for us to be together. 


Mark Denys 
Senior Director, Health Services