Colleges try different methods to contain COVID-19 as classes begin

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Different colleges are trying to different methods to protect students as they return to campus for the school year.

At Swarthmore College, officials are implementing changes like a strict no visitor policy. They also created three large tents equipped with power, lighting and WiFi to use for outdoor classes and social activities.

"We've actually painted like, I think it's somewhere in excess of 200 6 foot by 6 foot squares all over the quads and lawns on campus so that students can be outside," said Jim Terhune, Vice President of Student Affairs. "And as long as students are in their own square, they will be physically distanced from one another."

At Haverford College, students are required to keep a contact journal of the people they interact with.

On Temple's campus Monday morning, students waited in line to get tested for coronavirus.

"I think it's better to be safe rather than sorry," said first-year Victoria Sharpadskaya.

RELATED: Temple University suspends in-person classes due to COVID-19 outbreak
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Temple University suspends in-person classes after an uptick in COVID-19 cases

Temple University, much larger and in the middle of the city, initially opened with a hybrid option. After an uptick in COVID-19 cases, from 58 on Friday to 103 on Sunday, the university made nearly all of their courses virtual for the next two weeks.

"What struck both us and the city as concerning was the rate of uptick, we doubled in practically 48 hours," said Temple University spokesperson Ray Betzner. "And what that told us is there's something going on here we need to understand better."

"I really can't say I'm surprised," said third year transfer student Zacharia Arsalane. "Unfortunately I think this was kind of inevitable. I was just looking forward to the opportunity to saying I tried to move out and do it in person."

Testing will play a key role in containing outbreaks as the Action News data journalism team found Pennsylvania is the worst in the country, testing fewer than 13% of its residents.

This is compared to New Jersey and Delaware, testing 32% and 24% of their state populations, respectively.
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