PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With two positive COVID-19 cases at Temple University, there are concerns as students return to campus all over the region and the country. Will in-person classes cause a spike in coronavirus cases? It’s a big focus for the academic community.
There have already been outbreaks of COVID-19 at some universities. In the Philadelphia region, schools and universities getting ready to open for in-person classes are taking all kinds of precautions.
Students at Temple are moving in on timed schedules to limit crowding with mandatory masks.
“Everyone is taking this very seriously, as they should,” Luke Mattice, a junior at Temple, said.
For the 3,200 who’ve chosen in-person learning, they’re all being tested for COVID-19.
“We’re getting the results back in 48-72 hours,” Ray Betzner, a Temple University spokesperson, said.
With two positive COVID-19 cases so far, Betzner says they’re expecting more and the college has allocated two residence halls for students who need to quarantine.
“The health and safety of our community is our chief priority here,” Betzner said, “and we will do whatever we need to do to ensure that safety.”
At St. Joe’s, it’s doing coronavirus testing on the track as classes prepare to open.
But it’s scenes like the one at Villanova University that are causing concerns — crowds of students partying and not taking precautions.
While Villanova says there are no new cases, there are at other universities.
Notre Dame stopped on-campus classes and is switching to online only for two weeks with at least 147 confirmed cases.
The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill did the same with more than 300 cases so far.
“You have to be more precautious now,” Kyla Miller, a freshman, said.
Back at Temple, students are excited to be on campus — especially freshmen like David Gillcrist — whose high school graduations were disrupted by the pandemic.
Gillcrist is moving from San Diego with help from his mom, who feels confident about the safety precautions.
“We needed to make sure that this was a wonderful entry for him into the new chapter of his life and the new chapter starts with COVID,” Katherine Gillcrist said.
Temple has about 40,000 students with only a small percentage on campus. It says if there’s a surge in coronavirus cases, it’s prepared to switch to all virtual learning if necessary.