College is encouraging students living in Trinity accommodation to go home “where this is possible”. This includes both students with a home in Ireland and international students.
A pro rata refund will be provided at the end of the academic year for students who move out permanently, according to an email circulated to residents by the Accommodation Office.
“For residents who will remain it is important to reduce discretionary social contacts as much as possible,” the email read. “Unless you are self-isolating you are not being asked to live ‘indoor lives’. However, I fully expect that you will recognize the seriousness of this situation and act accordingly.”
From 6pm today until March 29, there will be a blanket ban on parties for Trinity residents. “Any breach of this will immediately be considered as grounds for permanent dismissal from your residence,” the Accommodation Office said.
“Be assured that disciplinary and pastoral systems of support remain in place and that we will take an extremely hard line on any socialization during this time that does not respect recommended social distance protocols.”
Residents are reminded to maintain at least one meter between yourself and others, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, wash your hands frequently with soap and water, cough/sneeze into flexed elbows and discarding used tissues immediately, and clean apartment surfaces used in common frequently with regular disinfectants and cleaners.
The Accommodation Office said: “For those who will be here over the next weeks, this continues to be your home, and as always it is a home where you should feel safe and protected. We are here to support you throughout these days.”
They added: “However, these are extraordinary times and public health is the absolute priority of the moment. This is not a time for panic, but a moment to support each other and to proceed based upon the scientific recommendations that have been clearly laid out by our public health experts.”
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced earlier today that colleges and schools will close from tomorrow in response to the coronavirus in a statement to the media in Washington DC.
The Taoiseach said that “where possible” teaching will be continued online. Colleges have been told to remain closed until March 29. The provost sent an email to students earlier this afternoon stating that college will close at 6pm today and more details will follow.
The first case of coronavirus within Trinity was confirmed last Thursday, with the second case, a Health Sciences student, was confirmed last night.
So far there have been 42 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Republic of Ireland, with a further 18 confirmed cases in Northern Ireland. Yesterday the first death due to the coronavirus in Ireland was announced.