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Update from College Secretary to students and staff

1 October 2020

Dear students and staff

Welcome to the start of term, one which is unlike any other due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. At any rate, it is good to see that teaching and orientation have started and I wish you all the best for this academic year. In particular I wish a céad míle fáilte to new students and staff as they become part of the Trinity Community.

Protecting the Trinity Community

All students and staff are required to adhere to social distancing requirements in accordance with public health guidance and are required to wear face coverings in indoor shared spaces. For an overview on staying safe during COVID-19, please see here.

To help us all get through this pandemic we must respect the Government’s and Trinity’s health and safety rules. This means that for this first term, Michaelmas Term, student residents are not allowed to have parties, visitors or overnight guests in their rooms. Any breach of these rules may be referred to the Junior Dean and could result in disciplinary action. Please understand that this is necessary as a matter of public health and out of respect for one another. We must take particular care to do everything we can not to let COVID-19 gain a foothold in our Community and on our campus.

Due to the current Level 3 Government restrictions in Dublin, some social activities in the city are not available. Trinity Sport and the student clubs and societies are working to make other sport and social events, which comply with the Government guidelines, available to students, see below.

Freshers’ Week

Student clubs and societies are at the heart of our student experience. Don’t forget that you can virtually visit society stalls, sign-up and view a full calendar of events at the Online Society Fair as well as having virtual chats with sport club committee members about what sport will look like this year, how to sign up to a sports club and view a full calendar of events at the Trinity Sport Orientation Hub.

To hear what students have to say about their time in societies, watch the video here and to find out more about our sports clubs, take a look at this video.

Student ID cards

Once you have completed the registration process, you are eligible for a Trinity College Dublin student ID card (TCard). You will need to upload your ID image before collecting your student ID card here. In addition to using your TCard as your student identification, for access control and print & copy, you will also be able to access and pay for a range of services across the campus using the embedded electronic purse. The good news is that there is 50% off everything in the Buttery Restaurant for all students when purchasing food with your TCard.

The COVID-19 testing centre and TriniScreen

The on-campus HSE COVID-19 testing service for students and staff who develop symptoms or who are identified as close contacts of confirmed cases opened this week. It should help reduce the risk of cluster development in the College community. Anyone who develops symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 should ring the College Health Centre at 01-896 1556. A College Health GP will ascertain if you should have a COVID-19 test.

Separately, and as referred to in a previous email, residents on the main campus and in Trinity Hall are being invited to consider taking part in a pilot study – TriniScreen - where College will offer free weekly screening tests for the presence of COVID-19. This study will be focused on testing self-collected saliva samples for COVID-19, and students living in the main campus and in Trinity Hall are now being contacted to invite them to volunteer samples at designated drop-off depots in the Halls of Residence. The study aims to find out how widely COVID-19 infection exists among staff and students in Trinity and will help to make decisions about how to control the spread of the infection and how to make College a safer environment, help us understand if other factors contribute to infection acquisition and help us understand why some staff and students become infected while others do not. More information can be found here.

These two measures are no replacement for public health advice - social distancing, regular hand washing, hygiene advice when coughing or sneezing and wearing face coverings – but they will contribute to help prevent the virus spreading as term begins.

Stay safe, stay well. Bígí slán agus sábháilte.

Kind regards
John Coman Secretary to the College