To our newest Owls, welcome to the Temple family! We know that the start of your Temple career isn’t what you expected, but we’re here to provide the information you need before getting started and reassure you that you’ll have access to the support you need to have a successful first semester.

We appreciate your understanding during these uncertain times, and we will continue to work through these challenges and to make sure that your experience is the best one possible given the current public health crisis. As always, we are consistently impressed by the strength and perseverance of our students and their families, and our faculty and staff. We look forward to welcoming you back for a healthy and safe fall semester—both virtually and on campus.

We are continuously making changes and updates to our campus to prepare for your arrival. Find out more about how we're working to keep you safe while on campus by watching this video from Senior Director of Student and Employee Health Services, Mark Denys.

The Four Public Health Pillars

To make any return to campus scenario successful, we must commit as a community to follow the four pillars of public health. It will take each of us doing our part to keep our campuses safe by adhering to the behaviors outlined below, which are essential until a vaccine is available.

Testing and Contact Tracing

As part of our return, we will continue and enhance our campus testing and contact tracing initiative for COVID-19. Our dedicated team at Student and Employee Health Services has been testing for the virus since the testing materials became available, and that work continues today.

There will be a COVID-19 Testing and Treatment facility on campus and a Contact Tracing Unit. The new testing center will be located in a storefront along Cecil B. Moore Avenue on the street level of Morgan Hall and will have its own capabilities to test for the virus that causes COVID-19. The site will be able to run up to 400 tests per week to start, with rapid results available in as little as 15 minutes. Visits will be by appointment only, and pre-screening will be conducted via telemedicine.

The rapid testing will be prioritized for students, faculty and staff who are symptomatic with COVID-19 and their close contacts. Student and Employee Health Services will also be conducting regular screening and testing of high-risk populations in the Temple community, including those who work in clinical settings, those who work with the public regularly, and student-athletes.

If you develop any of the emergency medical symptoms while at home or on campus, such as trouble breathing; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion; inability to wake or stay awake; bluish lips or face; any severe symptoms for which you suspect you may need urgent medical attention, seek medical attention immediately and call 911.

Preparing For Your Arrival

To ensure that we are able to move forward with successfully opening the university, every student who is coming to Temple for the fall semester is strongly encouraged to self-quarantine for 14 days prior to arriving on campus. That means students who are moving into on-campus housing on Monday, Aug. 17 should begin their self-quarantine on Monday, Aug. 3. 

Students returning to Philadelphia to live in off-campus housing are also asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. If you’re coming from outside Pennsylvania, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the self-quarantine recommendations issued for certain states by the city of Philadelphia. 

During these 14 days, it is critical to avoid high-risk situations, such as parties and other large gatherings where people are not wearing facial coverings or maintaining physical distancing of six feet or more. You’ll want to continue practicing the healthy behaviors we’ve all grown accustomed to since March—such as

  • limiting the number of people in your social circle,
  • maintaining six feet of distance between yourself and others,
  • monitoring your health daily,
  • properly wearing a facial covering, and
  • washing your hands frequently with soap and water.

You’ll be expected to sustain these when you’re on campus. It is our hope that no student will have to begin their fall semester at Temple in isolation due to engaging in risky behavior before leaving home.

Looking ahead

Soon, you will be asked to read our Return to Campus Guide for Temple Students and complete an online training, which will further help you understand your part in our shared responsibility for protecting everyone’s well-being. We’ll also share more information about a team of dedicated Student Public Health Ambassadors that is being assembled to help encourage compliance with the four pillars of public health among students, as well as a social contract app that provides additional reminders through TUportal and the TUmobile app. And, Temple Student Government will be unveiling a student pledge to unite the student body in protecting each other and the greater Philadelphia community.

In the days and weeks ahead, the university will continue to share more about the initiatives listed above, as well as new information about how indoor and outdoor events, including those of our student organizations, will be managed this fall; how students will be able to reserve spaces in the TECH Center, Charles Library and certain recreation facilities; and what other new areas will be available on campus—like Zoom Rooms and places to eat your grab-and-go meals.

We encourage you to visit the Return to Campus tab within TUportal for in-depth protocols and guides and regularly for the most up-to-date information about the return planning efforts.

Campus Mask Distribution

A joint effort between Temple Library Systems, the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Campus Safety, and Information Technology Services has brought 5,000 PPE masks to campus, intended for student use. Each student will be permitted up to two (2) masks per semester.

Students will be asked to swipe their Owlcard in order to keep track of the masks allotted. Schools and colleges across Temple campuses will also have masks available.

On Main Campus, masks will be distributed at the following locations.

  • Charles Library Security Desk
  • 1101 West Montgomery Ave. (Bell building)
  • Howard Gittis Information Desk
  • TECH Center Security Desk

Vulnerable Populations

According to the CDC, individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection. Those conditions may include:

  • Older adults (aged 65 years and older)
  • People who are immunocompromised
  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Serious heart conditions

If you fall into a high-risk group or have a health condition that supports the need for a reasonable accommodation, you should contact Temple’s Office of Disability Resources and Services (DRS) for assistance at or 215-204-1280. 

If you have personal circumstances that lead you to prefer a full or partial online course load for the fall 2020 semester, you should consult your academic advisor and/or academic program coordinator, who will be able to assist you.