PHILADELPHIA -- Temple University has announced a two-week halt of in-person classes as Philadelphia officials called on all college and university students in the city to avoid all social gatherings with people outside their households.
Temple officials said Sunday that new test results over the weekend had pushed the number of active COVID-19 cases from the 58 reported Friday to 103 active cases, most of them among people with no symptoms and a small number with mild to moderate flu-like symptoms.
University president Richard Englert said officials believe they are seeing “new cases that result from small social gatherings happening off campus.” He said that prompted the two-week “pause” on in-person classes and a contact tracing effort.
Temple said in-person classes will go online starting Monday and continue online through Friday, Sept. 11, with only classes deemed essential by college deans held in person.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.