Temple University to open dedicated COVID-19 testing center on main campus

75756A5E-120A-4932-810C-2FD980DB785E
By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Temple University is preparing to open a COVID-19 testing center just in time for the arrival of students this fall.

Mark Denys, director of Student Health Services, said the center will be housed in a storefront on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near Morgan Hall.

“This became open, so it just became a good fit that way from a timing perspective,” Denys said. “But it’s also only half a block away from our main office, from our health center, and it’s really right in the middle of campus.”

The testing center is set to open in early August and will be available to students, faculty and staff, by appointment only.

“We have to keep it as controlled as we can so that we know the volume to expect,” Denys said. “We don’t want to have people lining up, but we want to test as many people as possible.”

Denys said the current health center offers limited testing, and Temple University Hospital performs the lab work and delivers results in 12 hours.

But that’s going to change.

“Come September, we’ve purchased our own machines and we’ll be able to do our own testing on-site,” Denys explained. “We’ll get (results) back in about 15 minutes. So, we’ll really have a quick turnaround and be able to identify positive cases almost instantly so that we can isolate and quarantine them very quickly.”

The new testing site should be able to execute about 400 tests a week, but Denys said they can accelerate that if the demand for testing grows.

Another component of the center will be a contact-tracing team.

“We’re probably going to have close to 25 to 30 folks working as contact tracers,” Denys said. “We think that’s going to give us a really good, robust program to be able to check in with folks and make sure that they’re isolating, quarantining and getting all their needs met.”