Temple University just became the first major institution in our area to announce that they'll be transitioning to virtual learning for the start of the upcoming spring semester.

Temple University announced late Wednesday afternoon that all courses from Monday, January 3 through at least Friday, January 21 will be taught virtually.

The news comes as COVID-19 cases continue to surge across our area.

It's not clear if the college will immediately resume in-person education. Instead, they will make further decisions as that date approaches, the school said on Wednesday.

“An assessment of the situation will be made during this period to determine the best course moving forward and will be driven by the requirements of the city of Philadelphia and the data and public health guidance available at the time,” a Temple University spokesperson says.

They're the first major college in Philadelphia to announce a switch to virtual learning for the upcoming spring semester in any capacity.

The school's residence halls will open on January 8 for all students enrolled in the Spring semester, who were planning on living on campus, they say. Students will need to be tested for COVID-19 within 24 hours of arrival, Temple said on Wednesday.

COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Philadelphia and across the country. In fact, the City of Philadelphia is reporting a 7-day case average of 778 cases per day, according to the New York Times tracker. This marks a significant uptick from earlier this fall when the case numbers were much lower.

It's not clear if any other area colleges or institutions will follow similar plans for the spring semester.

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