COVID-19 testing for Temple students moving into dorms

Any student who tests positive will be asked to return home or directed to designated on-campus housing to isolate.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Universities across the area have put a number of measures in place to minimize the potential for the spread of COVID-19 among students arriving for the fall semester.

One of those measures is testing.

"It was a lot quicker and a lot less painful that I thought it would be," said Temple University junior Michael Seitzinger.

Seitzinger, who had just been swabbed when speaking to Action News, is among the roughly 3,200 Temple students moving into on-campus housing.

The tests are free for these students and mandatory for dorm living.

RELATED: Temple University unveils 3-part COVID-19 testing plan for students
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Temple University has unveiled a three-part testing plan for its students ahead of the fall semester.

For some, like the Martinez family, the tests also mean peace of mind.

"I think it's a really good idea. It's helping everybody keep safe," said freshman Angelina Martinez.

Her father, Tim Martinez of Oxford, added, "I'm glad they're taking precautions, and I'm just glad she's able to go."

Students are also being tested who have traveled from a state on Philadelphia's quarantine list over the past two weeks.

Any student who tests positive will be asked to return home or directed to designated on-campus housing to isolate.

"I know they're doing everything they can to limit the spread to the best of their ability, but I don't know. I think it's going to be a little bit of a sketchy year to go through without getting it," sophomore Andrew Doyle said.

At the end of July, all students were emailed and asked to quarantine for two weeks prior to arriving on campus.

RELATED: Temple University unveils plans for students to return for fall classes

Next week, the university will open a dedicated coronavirus testing center on the ground floor of Morgan Hall for rapid testing should students feel ill.

They are currently making changes to the space to maximize safety.

Temple spokesperson Ray Betzner explained, "One of the things we are doing right now is going in and making sure we have a separate air handling system here. There is a separate entrance here. So there is no mingling whatsoever of either the air or the people."

Betzner added that the tests upon arrival will serve to isolate positive cases and establish a baseline for what to expect.

The university also wants students to realize their part in this.

"We want students to realize that this is serious stuff. They really have to integrate a different routine into their lives. If they're tested first thing when they move in, it says 'oh wait, this is real,'" Betzner said.

Should students refuse to be tested, they will not be allowed into Temple's buildings.
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