Update from College Secretary to students and staff
25 June 2021
Dear students and staff
Third level students may be offered their first COVID-19 vaccines early this autumn before the new academic year would begin for many of them, according to Mr Damien McCallion of the HSE, who oversees the COVID-19 vaccination roll out. Speaking on Wednesday he said he expects 18 to 20-year olds to be included in the scheme by that point. This is a positive development.
The HSE has warned of an inevitable increase in the number of Delta variant cases. It is important to keep our guard up. Please continue to adhere to public health guidelines of social distancing, wearing face coverings, hand washing, restricting social gatherings etc.
TriniScreen pilot - screening for people without symptoms
The TriniScreen pilot of free weekly screening tests on a voluntary basis continues to be available to residents in Trinity Hall and on campus. Key groups of staff such as College Health, Day Nursery, Estates and Facilities and others can also avail of this screening and have been contacted directly. Triniscreen will be rolled out to staff and students in TBSI going into labs and practicals in the near future. Triniscreen involves testing self-collected saliva samples for COVID-19. Anybody who tests positive will be informed of the result by College Health who will arrange a consultation with a College Health GP to decide on further action.
A recent example of the effectiveness of TriniScreen and the importance of continual screening is illustrated by a colleague who participated in TriniScreen on a Friday. They had already received one vaccination and were feeling well. However, that afternoon as a result as taking part in TriniScreen, they were contacted to say that they needed to go for PCR testing. The following day they tested positive, as did other family members. No close contacts were identified in Trinity although this person had been working every day on campus abiding by the protocols we have in place. I am pleased to say that this colleague is very well and has returned to work.
UniCoV project – safeguarding our campusesTrinity 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 will start this summer in Trinity, NUIG, UCC and UCD. Its aim is to support and facilitate the return of face-to-face on campus activity in September. We will bring you information about it in the near future and how you can participate.
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.
Stay safe. Stay well. Bígí slán agus sábháilte.
Kind regards,John Coman, Secretary to the College
Seán Ó Comáin, Rúnaí an Choláiste