Temple University will announce its plans for the spring 2021 semester by the end of October, President Richard Englert said at a virtual Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday.
Faculty members are working alongside the Board of Trustees to plan for the spring semester, The Temple News reported. Temple's faculty union has urged the university to continue remote instruction in the spring given a projected rise in cases, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Englert said in the meeting, however, that Temple has no indication cases were transmitted in the classroom during in-person teaching.
Although students were initially welcomed back to campus for hybrid learning this fall, all classes were moved online two weeks into the semester following an outbreak of COVID-19 on campus, CBSN Philly reported.
Faculty, students, and community members are concerned an outbreak could cause more cases in the surrounding neighborhood, the Inquirer reported.
“We get test results assigned to a person, and unless they tell us during a case investigation that they were exposed to someone associated with a school, we can’t make a determination if it’s spread off campus into the community,” James Garrow, a spokesperson for the city’s health department told the Inquirer.
There are currently 48 active COVID-19 cases among students and employees, The Temple News reported. The number of active cases peaked on Sept. 6 and 7, with 350 active cases each day.
Temple’s announcement comes just two weeks after Penn announced that a comprehensive spring semester plan will be released to the community by mid-November.
There is no definitive word on whether Penn students will be welcomed back for on-campus living. The start of the spring semester will be delayed by one week to Jan. 20, and spring break will be shortened to two days on March 10 and 11.
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