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Update from Secretary to College, Interim Chief Operating Officer and Director of College Health to staff and students

4 February 2022

Dear College community

The number of people with COVID-19 in hospital has fallen to the lowest level this year which is welcome news. However, we all must continue to be vigilant as Omicron is so contagious. Thank you for your ongoing support in this regard for everyone’s health and wellbeing. 

Walk-in vaccination centre

The College Health Service is operating another walk-in COVID-19 vaccination centre in the Public Theatre (Exam Hall), Front Square from Tuesday 08 February until Friday 11 February. Vaccination will be available to all Trinity students and staff from 10am-4pm each day. 

You can attend for booster doses, or first or second doses for those who have not yet commenced or completed an initial vaccination course. More information can be found here.

Updated government work safely protocol  The Transitional Protocol – Good Practice Guidance for Continuing to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 was published by the government on Monday. It provides guidance on the safe return to work following the removal of most public health restrictions. 

The key changes for Trinity include: 

  • We must continue to maintain good infection control practices, keep the COVID-19 response plan, and we are encouraged to keep the Lead Worker Representative role (COVID Coordinator), a designated isolation area, and consider the needs of high-risk staff and students. 
  • The general requirement to maintain 2m social distance and to operate pods of six has been removed. 
  • We do not need to collect contact details of staff and visitors but may need to provide attendance information if available, to Public Health if they are investigating an outbreak in the university.
  • The wearing of face coverings still applies to certain settings such as healthcare, transport, retail and public offices and to those serving food and drink, but it is still good practice to continue to use face masks particularly in crowded areas. (In Trinity, face coverings will continue to be required in all teaching and learning spaces, including lectures and labs, indoor buildings, the Library, and in shared office spaces. More detailed information regarding face coverings was outlined in our email to you last week here.)   
  • In meetings, events or training, the continued focus on hand and respiratory etiquette and adequate ventilation are all measures that may continue. 
  • In addition, we must continue to advise staff and students not to come to work/college if they are displaying any signs of symptoms of COVID-19 and provide hand sanitisers at entry and exit points, display advice on COVID-19 in prominent locations and maintain regular cleaning. 

Volunteer for the UniCoV study – free COVID-19 testing  Don’t forget that you can avail of the UniCoV project which offers free regular COVID-19 lateral flow antigen testing and saliva LAMP PCR testing twice a week. Such tests assist with the early identification of SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as the Omicron variant, thereby helping to stop the spread of the virus. To find out more, please see here.

Stay safe. Stay well. Bígí slán agus sábháilte.

Kind regards, John Coman, Secretary to the College Seán Ó Comáin, Rúnaí an Choláiste Orla Cunningham, Interim Chief Operating Officer Orla Ní Chuinneagáin, An Príomhoifigeach Oibriúcháin Eatramhach

Dr David McGrath, Director, College Health Service An Dr Daithi Mac Craith, Stiúrthóir, Seirbhís Sláinte an Choláiste