Temple University students return to campus as Philadelphia mandates COVID-19 vaccine for colleges

Temple University says it's well on its way, with more than 76% of housing students and 74% of faculty already vaccinated.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Thousands of students will move into the Temple University dorms this week, days after the city announced all college students, staff, and faculty, will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccination.

"I just wanted to feel safer," said freshman Sydney Green, who says she got her vaccine months ago.

After a half virtual junior and all virtual senior year of high school, she's excited to be starting college.

"It was extremely hard not being able to connect with friends and teachers, but you know you got used to it," she said.

She's one of 4,300 students who will move into Temple University housing, where masking is required, and soon, a COVID-19 shot will be too.

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With the delta variant and everything, I think it's important that everyone gets vaccinated, so we don't have to go back to like what we had last year," said freshman Ethan Buera.

Last week, Philadelphia mandated the vaccine for all city college students and staff by October 15, barring a medical or religious exemption. Temple University says it's well on its way, with more than 76% of housing students and 74% of faculty already vaccinated.

"On Friday afternoon, there will be a pop-up clinic. We also know that there are going to be vaccination clinics at certain places on campus throughout the course of the year as well as testing clinics continuing," said Olan Garrett, interim vice president for student affairs at Temple University.

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While cases in the city are rising to levels not seen since May, some parents still say they feel safe sending their kids to school.

"I feel pretty good. I'm glad that she got her shot. I think she's going to be safe, and I just put it in God's hands," said Darnetta Shannon, Green's mom.

Students and staff who aren't vaccinated yet will have to get tested for the virus twice a week. That requirement starts 24 hours after move-in.

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