Update from College Secretary and Chief Operating Officer to students and staff
16 July 2021
Dear students and colleagues
As reported in the media, there is a rising number of daily COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta variant. There were circa 1,000 new cases yesterday. However, as we head into a new surge there is a new line of defence in that almost 60% of the adult population is fully vaccinated in Ireland and 75% is partly vaccinated.
Nonetheless even with a first or second vaccination there is still a risk of getting and/or transmitting COVID-19, albeit a much-reduced risk. No vaccine is 100% effective – in fact 5% of the current cases are among fully vaccinated people. All members of the Trinity Community are encouraged to participate in the vaccination programme.
Stay vigilant!With the highly transmissible Delta variant we need to continue to protect each other. Please continue to adhere to public health guidelines of wearing face coverings, minimising contacts, restricting social gatherings, social distancing, and hand washing etc.
Working from home
Staff who are working from home should continue to do so if possible. This is the case even if you have been vaccinated with a first or second vaccination. It is a safer approach for the Trinity Community, as per Government guidelines.
Interim remote/hybrid working arrangements
The Director of HR, together with the Chief Officers and Faculty Deans, is creating an Interim Remote Working Policy for the next academic year. Focus groups with members of the College community and consultations with the trade unions have taken place. It is expected that it will be ready by the end of the month. For the moment, the position is that while we remain under public health restrictions, Schools/Services should refamiliarize themselves with their Resumption of Activity Plans, within which is set out the attendance of staff on site at the various Levels 1-5. This will allow all to be ready to react should the situation change.
UniCoV project – safeguarding our campuses
Trinity is one of four Irish universities participating in the UniCoV project to help detect and prevent the spread of COVID-19 among students and staff. This new research initiative involving rapid antigen and saliva testing, and wastewater monitoring is taking place in Trinity, NUIG, UCC and UCD. Its aim is to support and facilitate the return of face-to-face on campus activity in September. You will receive an email about UniCoV shortly with more information and how you can participate.
An update from the Government regarding new public health advice which will impact the higher education sector is expected on 19 July. A meeting is planned for next week with Heads of Schools and Units after this announcement to give an overview of Trinity's current planning for the new academic year.
Stay safe. Stay well. Bígí slán agus sábháilte.
John Coman, Secretary to the College
Seán Ó Comáin, Rúnaí an Choláiste
Orla Cunningham, Chief Operating Officer
Orla Cunningham, An Príomhoifigeach Oibriúcháin