Masks will be optional at Temple University for most indoor, outdoor parts of campus

Temple University says masks will be optional in all non-healthcare indoor and outdoor settings to start the Fall semester.

"When it comes to masking, we encourage all members of the Temple community to make the best decision for themselves, taking into consideration all factors, including COVID-19 transmission levels, the indoor setting and their own health, while respecting the decisions of others to protect themselves," the school said in a press release. 

Temple is still encouraging students and staff to have a mask handy and be willing to wear it to keep vulnerable members of the school community safe. Free surgical masks are available at the entrance of every building, according to the school, and a limited number of KN95s are available in Main Campus buildings. 


"We will continue to monitor the situation and may have to make adjustments to our masking and other policies later in the semester depending on conditions, but for now, let’s be respectful to each other and take care of ourselves," the school said. 

Meanwhile, the Temple Association of University Professionals (TAUP) shared a statement saying it "does not agree with the university's decision on masks." They claim the decision was made without "meaningful consultation" with faculty or staff. 

TAUP is requesting that Temple allow instructors the option to require masking in their classrooms and teaching spaces.

In accordance with Philadelphia's vaccine mandate on institutions of higher education, Temple students and staff are still required to have at least the original COVID-19 series. Booster shots are not currently required, but the school said they are highly recommended. 

Temple's overall vaccination rate last year was over 97% and officials project that it will remain around a similar level. The school believes its high vaccination rate will help in-person classes and activities continue in the Fall. 

Temple will continue to offer free COVID-19 testing to students and the school is encouraging students to self-test before returning to campus. Asymptomatic testing will be offered initially and phased out during the semester. 

"While the pandemic is not yet behind us, this fall is looking like it will again offer students, faculty and staff a dynamic, in-person learning experience. That said, we must also continue to be flexible and be ready to pivot should circumstances change."