PHILADELPHIA - Temple University updated its mask guidance for students ahead of a return to campus on Monday that was delayed due to a national surge of COVID-19 cases.
According to a post on the university's website, students are no longer allowed to wear only cloth masks while on campus. The updated guidance comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended N95 masks as the most protective measure against COVID-19.
Temple said students now have three options while masking on campus and officials rated them on a scale from "Good" to "Best."
The minimum requirement is a surgical mask with multiple layers of nonwoven material. Students can also ‘double-mask’ with a surgical mask and a cloth mask on top. The "Best" option according to the school and following the CDC's recommendations is a KN95 mask.
The school will be offering a limited number of KN95 masks at several spots on the Main Campus next week, officials said. Students can swipe their OWLcards to receive one mask each.
- Charles Library security desk,
- 1101 W. Montgomery Ave. (Bell Building),
- Howard Gittis Student Center Information Desk and
- TECH Center security desk.
Temple announced before Christmas that classes would be held virtually through Jan. 21 to combat a surge in COVID propelled by the highly contagious omicron variant.
"The contagiousness of the omicron variant, intensely increasing national case numbers, and predictions for a significant post-holiday surge necessitate that we closely monitor trends and implement safety precautions to protect the Temple community," Dr. Jason Wingard said in a letter to students.
On New Year's Eve, Temple delayed the move-in date for undergraduates entering the Spring 2022 semester to Jan. 22.
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