The City of Philadelphia is showing increasing concern towards the outbreak of COVID-19 cases at Temple University during the city’s virtual COVID-19 response briefing, Tuesday.
Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley urges students to follow social distancing guidelines and stay indoors.
Case counts are rising rapidly and there is “substantial risk” that the virus can spread into the surrounding North Philadelphia community. 127 active COVID-19 cases are reported Tuesday within the Temple student body.
“Assume everyone around you is infected”, Dr. Farley said. “Stay in your room or apartment unless you have to go out for essential errands. Wear a mask when you are around anyone else”.
Contact tracing shows that cases originate in students living in off-campus apartments. Data also shows that students are testing positive after attending small social gatherings.
On Sunday, a testing team was sent to a residential building off-campus that had three known cases of COVID-19. Of the 33 people tested, 15 people tested positive for the virus.
The Philadelphia Health Department sent another team to do testing at the Aramark STAR Complex, Monday. 410 people were tested by the city while the university tested 60 people at their testing locations, like the one under Morgan Hall North.
In an attempt to help slow the spread, Temple has suspended in-person classes for two weeks. Also, new guidance from the Philadelphia Health Department warns students to not attend social gatherings of any size.
While the case counts at Temple are rising, there is an overall decline in cases in Philadelphia. 131 new cases around the city are reported Tuesday, bringing the total to 33,909 cases around Philadelphia. In the last week, the city averaged about 97 new cases per day.
Dr. Farley mentioned it is important to note that Temple students may not be included in Philadelphia’s case numbers as many students are using their home address. Once the city identifies them as Philadelphia residents, the count will go up.
You can track the latest COVID-19 case numbers on Temple Update’s visualized case dashboard.