DCU has said that it will not ask students living in on campus accommodation to leave their residences. In a statement released today the college acknowledged that “for some students it is their home”, and that many would be unable to return to their family homes for a number of reasons. The statement reassured students that “DCU will look after students living on campus for the duration of this crisis”.
DCU also stated that, if called upon by the department of health, they would provide unoccupied campus residence buildings to the HSE.
This comes after Trinity drew criticism for requiring all students living on campus to vacate their accomodation, excepting those in certain circumstances. These included; students who face homelessness; who have the virus or are currently self-isolating, if their family at home has the virus; who have immigration, travel, and/or visa restrictions; whose home is in an area with extremely limited internet connectivity; and PhD students who must conduct lab or other research on campus that is required for their thesis.
In an email to residents Trinity stated: “The reality we face is that large, highly concentrated numbers of students will increase the chance of rapid transmission of [the virus], and our capacity to quarantine those who are sick and those who have been exposed is extremely limited.”
Students with homes in Ireland were told by College to leave by 8pm on Tuesday, while international students were given until 5pm today. College later added to the list of exceptions to these requirements, so that students with immunocompromised family members, those on clinical placement, as well as those facing travel restrictions were allowed to stay on campus.
Students living in Kavanaugh Court and Binary Hub were also informed that they did not have to leave, with this decision being left up to private accommodation providers. In an email to Sinn Féin spokesperson on housing, Eoin Ó’Broin, the Provost confirmed that students would not be asked for evidence in order to meet the criteria for staying on campus, saying that “We would accept students’ word and bona fide in this situation”.
74 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the Republic today, bringing the total number of infected patients to 366. An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that the number of cases could reach 15,000 by the end of the month.