PHILADELPHIA - Temple University students are adjusting to the new norm as they head back for the fall semester.
The Charles Library is bustling once again but campus life in the pandemic era is quite a bit different.
Temple freshman Kennedy Atwater wears a mask to class and she has no roommate. Her first year is anything but normal.
"You can’t really enjoy like homecoming or do the things you look forward to as a freshman so it’s kind of difficult," she said.
Last year, you could find about 27,000 students walking on campus on the first day of classes. Thanks to COVID-19 this year it was less than 9,000, but that is by design. Only 25 percent of classes have an in-person component. Some students have been protesting against campus opening at all.
On Thursday, the number of active COVID-19 cases jumped to 39 but school officials expected some cases as more than 5,000 students and staff arriving back to campus were recently tested.
“Temple is not an organization that says this is hard let’s walk away from it," Temple University spokesman Ray Betzner said.
Social distancing signs are all over campus. Two residence halls have been designated for COVID-19 quarantining. The plan is to keep campus open but that plan could change by the day.
"Let's say numbers are on the rise around us. The situation is becoming more concerning at the hospitals then we know the call we need to make. We’re ready to make that call," Betzner said.
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