I hope your semester is off to a good start, and I look forward to welcoming you back to campus next week. Thank you for your patience and flexibility over the past two weeks as Temple has responded to the nationwide spike in cases due to the omicron variant of COVID-19.
Our planning for the spring semester has been intense. We wrote to you during winter break about delaying in-person instruction, and pivoted just before the new year to delay housing move-in, in light of the omicron surge.
As we prepare for the resumption of in-person instruction on Monday, Jan. 24, here are several key elements that can help all of us to stay safe, healthy and on campus. Adhering to these guidelines will help you keep your education on track.
Before you return to campus, you are strongly encouraged to get a COVID-19 test, regardless of vaccine status.
- Please take a COVID-19 test prior to returning to in-person activities.
- Log into Temple’s patient health portal to schedule your test.
- If you have received either a PCR or rapid COVID-19 test outside of the university, please upload your results into the patient health portal.
- If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, upload that test result and do not test again unless you are symptomatic.
If you are living in Temple housing and are unable to get tested before your return, you must schedule an appointment within 24 hours of your return at one of the university’s testing clinics. Clinics will be open on Saturday, Jan. 22, and Sunday, Jan. 23, and will resume normal operations for the spring semester on Monday, Jan. 24.
Students granted a COVID-19 vaccine exemption for the fall semester are required to resume regular testing if they will be on campus for classes or other activities. Failure to comply with the testing program may result in loss of access to campus buildings.
Following updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Temple’s mask guidelines have changed. Cloth masks alone are no longer adequate for protecting yourself and others. The CDC recommends that you wear the most protective mask you can that fits well (completely covers your nose and mouth) and that you will wear consistently.
You now have three options for how to mask while on campus.
- Good: a surgical mask with multiple layers of nonwoven material
- Better: a surgical mask with a cloth mask over it
- Best: a KN95 mask
To get you started, a limited number of KN95 masks will be made available on Main Campus next week. Students can swipe their OWLcards to receive one mask each. Masks will be distributed at the
- Charles Library security desk,
- 1101 W. Montgomery Ave. (Bell Building),
- Howard Gittis Student Center Information Desk and
- TECH Center security desk.
High-quality surgical and KN95 masks are readily available online and in stores and pharmacies. Project N95 is an online source of reliable high-quality masks. Please be sure to acquire enough masks to last you through the semester.
All members of the Temple community who are eligible are strongly urged to receive a COVID-19 booster shot. If it has been five months or more since your last dose of a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or two months or more since the J&J vaccine, you are eligible for a booster shot. Boosters are the best way to prevent yourself from becoming infected or becoming seriously ill if you are infected. If you have already received your booster shot from somewhere other than Temple, please upload your booster shot information at temple.edu/vaxupload as soon as possible.
If you need a booster shot but recently tested positive, we recommend that you wait two weeks after the date of your positive test before getting your booster shot.
Quarantine and Isolation
The university has adopted the updated quarantine and isolation guidance offered by the CDC. If you test positive for COVID-19, you must isolate for five days; you can leave isolation on day six, if you are fever-free with improving symptoms. If you leave isolation on day six, you must continue wearing your mask around others at all times for an additional five days. After the 10 days you should continue to wear your mask in accordance with Temple’s mask guidelines.
City of Philadelphia mandates
It’s important for you to abide by the requirements issued by the city of Philadelphia. Individuals are required to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine to enter restaurants and other establishments that serve food within the city limits. If you are compliant with Temple’s vaccine requirement or waiver process, you will be able to access university dining halls.
We look forward to seeing you back on campus on Monday.
Senior Vice President and Provost