Cloth masks alone are now no longer allowed.
Students had been learning virtually for the first three weeks of classes in the 2022 spring semester (Monday, Jan. 3, through Friday, Jan. 21).
The adjustment was due to the significant increase of COVID-19 cases around the country and throughout the region.
In its correspondence with students, Temple stated KN95 masks are the best option.
"I actually couldn't find them. That's why I'm wearing a double mask right now," said student Mohammed Ali.
Students can also wear a surgical mask with a cloth mask over it or just a surgical mask with multiple layers of nonwoven material.
"I don't mind it as long as we get to stay in class, doesn't bother me at all," said student Danielle Waheed. "I'm going to get another KN95 after this, but other than that, I'll just double up."
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Anyone who lives in Temple housing was required to get a COVID test within 24 hours of returning to campus, regardless of vaccination status.
In addition, just as Philadelphia has mandated proof of vaccination to eat in city establishments, Temple now has that requirement to eat in its dining halls.
Unvaccinated students will need a waiver to eat in Temple facilities.
"I'm happy to be back, and if that's what allows us to be back, then I'm fine with it," commented Becca Wilson, of the new policies.
"The rules? They're needed for COVID. Of course, everyone has to stay safe," said freshman Brenden Tartaglin who says he's happy to go to school in-person.
Debeh Willie, a junior, says she's torn about being back on campus.
"One minute it seems to be going in the right direction, and then the next minute there's a new variant," she said.
Willie adds if upgrading masks means continuity in her education, she's OK with the policy.
"I don't want us doing the back and forth, home, school, home, on campus, so if it's going to be to keep us in one place, I don't mind," she said.
Temple says it will have a limited number of KN95 masks to give out on campus at locations - including the Charles Library security desk, Bell Building, Howard Gittis Student Center Information Desk, and TECH Center Security Desk.
Students can swipe their OWLcards and be given one mask each.
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