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.

The Four Public Health Pillars

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 everyone safe by adhering to the behaviors outlined below, which are essential until a vaccine is available.

In this video, Senior Director for Student and Employee Health Services Mark Denys provides an update on the ways in which we continue to keep our community safe.

University COVID-19 Testing

As an Owl, you have an essential part to play in the effort to keep campus and the surrounding community safe this fall. Students must be prepared to participate in the university’s COVID-19 testing plan to keep yourself and others healthy and protected. 

Students who experience COVID-19 symptoms should contact Student Health Services to discuss healthcare options. If you’ve come into close contact with someone who has tested positive, you will be notified by the university’s contact tracing team and will be provided with instructions on quarantining and testing. Tests will be administered through the university’s newly established testing center and offered by appointment only.

Throughout September, the university will continue testing both symptomatic and asymptomatic students each week as a safety precaution and to help identify any potential clusters of positive cases on campus. Regular testing across the university will enable Health Services, if necessary, to act quickly to limit the spread of the disease. Temple’s team of contact tracers will work hand-in-hand with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health to identify close contacts of positive cases so that they may be tested and follow proper quarantine protocols. The privacy of all involved in contact-tracing efforts will be protected.

It is important to note that being tested is not a disciplinary action and there is no penalty if you test positive for COVID-19. Our primary goal is to protect the health and safety of the Temple community, and routine testing is one of the ways to do that. 

Johnson and Hardwick Halls have been dedicated for isolation and quarantine rooms for students in University Housing who test positive or come in close contact with someone who tests positive, in order to provide a secure place to complete their isolation or quarantine period.

Travel Tracker

If you have been to one of the states considered to be high risk within the past 14 days, you will need to log your travel in the Travel Tracker form on TUportal to help the university with any potential contact-tracing efforts. After completing this form, you will receive further instructions from Student Health Services.

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is the process of tracking and alerting individuals who have been exposed to the virus. Student Health Services is developing a contact tracing unit for all students, faculty and staff in partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

There will be a COVID-19 testing 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.

If you develop any emergency 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.

Frequently Asked Questions about Testing and Exposure to COVID-19

With the start of the fall semester, Temple University has developed guidelines for students who are experiencing symptoms, need to be tested for COVID-19 or need to report symptoms, and what to do if students think they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive.

Read the university’s answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 testing for students.

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. 

Protect the Nest App

We're teaming up with Smartwater to encourage students to follow our public health pillars and keep our community safe. Check out the Protect the Nest app in TUportal to let us know how you're protecting yourself and others.