Dear Temple employees,
I hope you enjoyed a restful winter break and that your semester is off to a good start. As we approach our return to campus, I wanted to 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.
With in-person operations set to resume on Monday, Jan. 24, there is some important information you need to know to ensure a healthy and successful return. Please familiarize yourself with Temple’s updated guidance in preparation and see the message Provost Mandel sent to students.
While a test is not required for return to on-campus work, you are strongly encouraged to get a COVID-19 test before returning to campus, regardless of vaccine status. If you do test, please submit your results, including results from at-home tests, to the patient health portal by uploading a photo of your test. If you tested positive over the break, you do not need to test again for 90 days as false positives may result.
Employees 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 facilities and other disciplinary action.
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. Employees 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.
A supply of surgical masks may be available at security desks throughout campus should a student need one. As a reminder, the Five Rs (remind, request, refuse, reschedule and refer) can help you determine how to address noncompliance in your classrooms and offices.
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 be aware of and 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, including those on and around Temple’s campus.
Thanks again for your patience.
Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer