Coronavirus leads Trinity to consider online exams

College is also contingency planning for a potential outbreak in campus accommodation

Trinity is exploring the possibility of conducting exams remotely in the event that government limits are placed on mass gatherings of people, according to the Irish Times.

As up to 2,500 students can ordinarily sit in the RDS for exams at any one time, a spokesperson from College told the Irish Times, the college must explore alternatives in case the coronavirus continues to spread in Ireland.

In an email statement to Trinity News, Thomas Deane, Trinity’s Media Relations Officer, said: “Trinity is continuing to explore options for the online delivery of course content and assessments, as well as considering a range of other accommodations that may be put in place to ensure that our students are able to complete their studies for this academic year.”

He said that “Trinity will not be making any decisions regarding mass gatherings and closures, as we will be guided by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre on the management of any confirmed case(s) and attempts to minimise the spread of the virus”.

College is also contingency planning for the impact of a potential coronavirus outbreak in campus accommodation, according to the Irish Times.

Hand sanitisers will be provided across campus and in off campus location to try prevent a possible spread of infection. Trinity will also be placing posters across campus with information on the virus, and has established a dedicated web page to provide updates and advice.

The college has also set up an expert working group to monitor the ongoing situation with the coronavirus in January. The group includes the chief risk officer, the director of the college health service, and representatives from academic registry, global relations, accommodation, estates and facilities, human resources, and the two student unions. Trinity said in January that the working group will provide updates “as the situation develops”.

The college spokesman told Trinity News that the group had been meeting once a week, but has now begun meeting twice a week as the situation continues to evolve.

In late January, the working group advised that students and staff in China return to Trinity in light of the ongoing spread of the virus. College has advised against travelling to China and several Italian towns in affected areas, in line with advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

According to the World Health Organisation, there have been approximately 93,166 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, and 3,199 people have died from the illness.

Aisling Grace

Aisling Grace was the Editor-in-Chief of the 66th Volume of Trinity News. She was also formerly Online Editor and Deputy News Editor.