Concerns over COVID-19, monkeypox linger at Temple as students return to campus

Move-in day is underway and will pick up throughout the week

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Students of Temple University’s Class of 2026 started to move on campus Monday.

White tents are set up in front of different residential buildings across the North Philly campus, providing shade for students and families as they unload cars, fill bins and wait to get in.

New and returning students who signed up for early arrival were allowed begin the move-in process on Monday. Officials expect Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to be the busiest move-in days of the week.

Temple described the new class as the most diverse in its history, comprised of 5,000 students, 4,000 of whom are living on campus.

This is the third full school year during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some policies from the previous school year are staying the same, while others have been relaxed.

Once again, because of the city’s policy, COVID-19 vaccinations are required for students, faculty and staff. Temple officials expect to match last year’s vaccination rate of 97%. When it comes to masking, face coverings are optional in non-health care settings.

Students are also “strongly encouraged” to get tested for COVID-19 before they arrive on campus.

Olan Garrett, Temple associate vice president for student affairs, hopes this year takes a sharper turn toward normalcy.

“We have our largest residence hall, Johnson and Hardwick, return to regular occupancy for the first time. We had that de-densified because of the pandemic, but that’s coming back to normal,” he said. “We’re really excited to be able to have our parents and students come back and move in the normal way they have in the past.”

A new health concern, however, is monkeypox. The CDC is reporting around 11,000 cases in the United States.

The CDC does not consider monkeypox to be a sexually transmitted disease, but officials say it is often transmitted through sustained physical contact, including sexual activity.

While there are currently no related restrictions to monkeypox on campus, Garrett said Temple is ready to respond.

“Just as we were with COVID, if we find ourselves in a situation where an individual has to isolate, we are prepared to do that,” he said.

Classes at Temple begin on Aug. 22.