Temple University to require students and staff to wear masks no matter their vaccination status
Those unvaccinated will also be subject to weekly testing.
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On Aug. 10, 2021, Temple University President, Dr. Jason Wingard, announced the school and its staff are taking measures to decrease the number of COVID-19 cases on campus.
Over the Summer, Temple developed a strategy to remain healthy, and one of the plans includes that all staff, visitors, and students will wear a mask no matter their vaccination status.
“Earlier this summer, we were able to relax mask requirements,” Wingard said in a statement. “But because of the surge of the Delta variant, we must pivot and again require that masks be worn indoors and in enclosed spaces such as shuttle buses.”
The decision comes after a major rise in COVID-19 cases thanks to the Delta variant. According to data conducted in mid-July by Johns Hopkins University, 82% of COVID-19 cases sampled in the United States from the Delta variant as opposed to 2% two months ago.
Wearing masks and washing hands are still the two best prevention measures against COVID-19 outside of the vaccine. Wingard also said avoiding large crowds — especially indoors — works to curb the spread of the virus.
When it comes to vaccinations, they are also being heavily encouraged.
“We are fortunate that there are several highly effective and safe vaccines that are widely available,” said Wingard. “These vaccines are truly the pathway out of the pandemic.”
Students who are not vaccinated will have to conduct weekly COVID-19 tests. The university will provide students and staff with free COVID-19 testing at Mitten Hall.
Unvaccinated students will also be subject to additional restrictions, such as minimal opportunities for gatherings and activities in close quarters.
“The university strongly and unreservedly advises all of our students, staff and faculty to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Wingard.
Unvaccinated individuals will also have minimal opportunities such as internships and research experiences.
Students who are vaccinated will be required to upload their vaccine information to Temple’s patient health portal.
“This is a critical step in providing information needed to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 infection,” said Wingard.
Most importantly, if the University does not receive one’s vaccine information through its portal, it will consider them to not be vaccinated and will be required to test.
Temple University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 28,726 students, meaning campuses are expected to be full and students must be cautious when planning events or gatherings.
“We are as eager as you are to have a return to the vibrant and dynamic campus we love and have missed so much. And we will be together this fall semester,” said Wingard. “But we must acknowledge the pandemic is still with us and take the necessary steps to keep each other healthy and safe.”
Temple is not the first college to require masks for its students. Students and staff at Penn State University, Community College of Philadelphia, and Drexel University are required to wear masks on campus and in buildings.
To schedule a vaccination appointment, go to vaccine.gov.