NORTH PHILADELPHIA - Temple University confirm two positive cases of coronavirus on campus. Both cases are confirmed to be students.
Officials with the university say about 4,000 tests will be given to students who have moved into campus housing since Monday.
According to officials, students who test positive but can’t return home will be quarantined on campus away from other students in the two halls set up for quarantine purposes.
RELATED COVERAGE: Temple University students move in and face the new COVID-19 normal
Students began moving into dorms Monday and they were greeted by mandatory COVID-19 testing sites and signs throughout campus reinforcing the necessary precautions. As the freshmen were moving in, their parents were just trying to wrap their heads around the new normal.
“I mean, we’re definitely concerned. A little nervous about it. We’re hoping everything works out just fine. Hopefully everybody’s going to use the proper precautions and everything will be ok,” parent Jim Forry said.
The uncertainty of students and hope of parents did not reflect the feelings of a group of teachers who organized a caravan protest Monday morning. They drove around campus making sure their feelings of being disrespected were heard.
“We are protesting the fact that Temple is re-opening because we believe that it is unsafe, that people will get sick, people may die and Temple is putting money over the lives of people,” one teacher stated.
“We got a bunch of decorations in the dorm room. It looks really cute. I’m excited about it, so hopefully we don’t have to take it down,”
As freshmen settle in at Temple, reality is not far behind, especially considering two students on campus have tested positive for coronavirus.
“She’s my oldest, first one, so really, it’s kind of scary for me and we’re from out of state,” freshman Sierra Michael’s mom stated.
Temple freshman Sierra Michael, with her mom by her side, explained how she will handle the more social aspect of college.
“I’ll probably do my best and wear my mask and social distance, but I don’t want to miss out on my college experience, because of it, so I’m definitely going to be safe because I don’t want to ruin everything, you know?” Sierra explains.
Others are far more cautious about the situation.
“Definitely worries about attending parties. I think that this is a really unconventional way of entering college and ideally I want to party a little bit, but I think that if we want this to end as soon as possible, then we need to take the right steps to do so,” stated freshman Cassandra Slade.
Temple University spokesperson Ray Betzner says the university is ready to give it the “Ole College Try,” pun intended.
“We believe we’re doing the best that we possibly can to provide a safe environment for our students. If we need to pivot, if the circumstances change and we need to pivot for the safety of our community, we’re ready to do that,” Betzner explained.
Betzner added the university learned from its previous mumps outbreak.
“We learned then that the socializing that some specific groups tend to do led them to be more open to infection. We’re going to be keeping an eye on those groups. Sports teams, fraternities, for example,” Betzner added.
At least one student bluntly summed up how he was going to handle things.
“I mean, I won’t be doing anything stupid,” said the student.
More information on Temple's coronavirus procedures and protocols can be found on their website, here.
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