Student Health Stresses COVID-19 Safety Guidelines as Students Prepare for Winter Break

In a usual week of finals, you can find many students in the library, or the TECH center studying and preparing for plans for winter break.

Whether it be a trip out of the country or just plans to go back home, students are excited.

However, this year will leave students making tough decisions on where and how they spend their winter break.

Student Health Services Director Mark Denys says it’s extremely important to stay put to limit the spread of the virus.

“We’re really trying to discourage folks from any travel that they’re doing,” he said. “And really right now with the high spread throughout the community, leaving your house only when essential is really what we’re recommending, what the health department is recommending. It’s not quite a shelter in place, but it’s pretty close.”

Staying at home is exactly what Temple junior Hamid Gborigi plans to do.

“Due to the virus and how it’s impacted everything, we decided it’s best if I don’t come home this holiday,” Gborigi said.

Gborigi told Temple Update going back home to Lagos, Nigeria would pose a major health threat to his parents and members of his community.

Instead, he will stay in his apartment here in Philadelphia and find ways to destress after a long semester.

“I was going try to get some health care experience, as much as I can but that’s usually for the summer, but I’m also trying to find something to do for the winter,” he said, “but at the same time just relax because you know this semester was a lot.”

While many students may opt to stay where they are this semester, others face issues from the beginning of the semester.

Temple junior Elisha Minna Shore hasn’t been on campus since October and knows she is not coming back in the spring.

Shore told Temple Update, the search for a sublease for her off-campus apartment near Temple’s campus has not been easy.

“Me and my Dad went over the lease, my sister, so many people looked at my lease to try to find out if I can get out of it and there was just no way. We’ve been trying to sublet now since October,” Shore said.

As Shore and Gboirgi will stay in their respective homes throughout the winter break to follow safety guidelines, the hope is many other students will do the same.

Denys says COVID testing will be available to only those who are symptomatic or have been exposed to the virus.

He also adds that testing should not be a priority in keeping one another safe.

“Getting a test is part of the strategy but testing doesn’t actually prevent you as a person from getting COVID,” Denys said.

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