Update from Secretary to College, Interim Chief Operating Officer and Director of College Health to staff and students
12 November 2021
Dear College community
We would like to thank students and staff for complying with HSE and College Covid-19 guidelines, by doing so you are helping to protect the entire college community.
As you are probably aware Covid-19 have been increasing across the country and overseas. Trinity is no exception. The figures are particularly serious in the 18-25 age group and are likely to get worse before they get better. This week we have seen 38 cases of Covid-19 in Trinity Hall and much smaller outbreaks in a number of Schools. As a result of one of those outbreaks, one School has recently moved some lectures online following medical advice.
Revised Trinity Hall guidelines
As a result of the recent surge in Covid-19 in Trinity Hall, a decision has been taken to temporarily revise rules regarding overnight stays and visits in Trinity Hall to stop the virus spreading further. These measures will be reviewed after two weeks and will be reversed if it is safe to do so.
In consultation with College Health these new measures are taken solely to prevent the spread of the virus and to protect the college community. Small, targeted measures appear to be the best response to the virus at present. By imposing temporary changes in local areas, we prevent the need to take more drastic measures.
From Monday 14th November only residents will be permitted to access Trinity Hall. Gatherings of more than 12 residents will also not be allowed. Many residents at Trinity Hall are already self-isolating and more will probably have to self-isolate in the days ahead. College has agreed a series of measures to help these students including subsidised meals and, where available, the provision of isolation rooms. If demand for self-isolation increases students may be accommodated in City West Hotel as has been done in the past over the course of the pandemic.
Detailed guidelines around self-isolation have been sent to Trinity Hall residents and there is also information in the return to campus FAQ page on the website.
Self-isolate if you have any Covid-19 symptoms
Symptoms of Covid-19 can be similar to symptoms of cold, flu or hay fever. Please read details of symptoms to be aware of on the HSE website here.
If you have any symptoms of Covid-19
• self-isolate in your own room.
• get a Covid-19 test as soon as possible.
• while waiting on a test or results of a test - DO NOT GO to lectures, catering outlets, shops or socialise in any way.
Please remember that no student or staff member will be disadvantaged for staying away from lectures for this reason.
People can also be infectious even before they show symptoms of Covid-19, and you can spread Covid-19 during this time. If you are in doubt about any symptoms you have, phone your GP or College Health Centre.
What to do if you test positive
• Self-isolate and follow the guidance at www2.hse.ie/conditions/covid19/testing/
• If you are resident in Trinity, contact your Accommodation Office.
• If you are a student, please notify your course director.
• If you are a staff member, please notify your line manager or head of school.
Exams and Assessments
Assessments and exams are coming, and with increasing cases of Covid-19 infections and illness, please take all possible steps to remain healthy and well in the next weeks. It would be a pity to miss assessments and defer to the summer. Think about how you are socialising and try to reduce your contacts by half, in line with Public Health Advice.
In all of this, student and staff welfare is at the heart of what we are doing. We all know we have to live with Covid-19. This means accepting risk, but it also means taking targeted measures to push back the virus where possible. Please continue to be vigilant and follow recommended guidelines which include reduce your socialising, wear a face-covering and maintain social distancing.
Stay safe. Stay well. Bígí slán agus sábháilte.
Orla Cunningham, Interim Chief Operating OfficerOrla Ní Chuinneagáin, An Príomhoifigeach Oibriúcháin Eatramhach Dr David McGrath, Director, College Health Service An Dr Daithi Mac Craith, Stiúrthóir, Seirbhís Sláinte an Choláiste