Temple, Penn ramp up COVID-19 testing as students return to campus

Gray Hall Image
ByGray Hall via WPVI logo
Friday, January 22, 2021
EMBED <>More Videos

The lab at Temple's medical school can process 20,000 COVID-19 tests per week.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A new lab is proof that Temple University is not taking COVID-19 lightly.

"This is a lab and a process that did not exist six weeks ago," said Mark Denys with Temple University's School of Medicine.

The lab at Temple's medical school can process 20,000 COVID-19 tests per week. The goal is to keep the campus as safe as possible from the spread of the virus.

"The testing itself, while it's not going to prevent an individual from getting COVID-19, what we are hoping to prevent is that individual from causing a cluster and that cluster from causing an outbreak," said Denys.

The university is covering the cost and there will be no out of pocket expense to students or staff.

Most who attend classes on campus will be expected to get tested twice a week, and many say they appreciate the extra layer of safety.

"Just to keep everyone safe and make sure no one is testing positive, hopefully reducing the spread on campus and we can actually live somewhat normal very soon," said Temple student Anthony Martini.

"I feel like it can be nothing but good. We need more testing, we need to get things done and we need to start getting people vaccinated," said Temple student Donel Dunn.

Students will self-administer the nasal swab test and can expect to have results back 12 to 36 hours later.

"The hope was that more students would come back to campus and take in-person classes. We want to make sure the faculty felt safe coming and teaching those classes," said Denys.

Other universities are also increasing testing measures. Villanova University says all students must be tested before they return to campus.

The same goes for students at Penn State University. The school will also conduct random daily testing. Like Temple, the University of Pennsylvania has an aggressive testing approach. It expects to conduct 40,000 saliva-based tests per week and those on campus will be tested twice a week.

"I really like that they have been great about testing so far. We test twice a week and we get results back really quickly. Like yesterday, I tested at 9 a.m. and I got my result back by 6 (p.m.). So, it definitely makes me feel safe around the campus," said University of Pennsylvania student, Arianna Arditi.