SU Council cancelled amid coronavirus fears

Council has been cancelled as a “precautionary measure”

The upcoming Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Council has been cancelled as a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus.

In a statement to Trinity News, Sadhbh Brennan, Chair of TCDSU Council, wrote: “Myself and the Secretary to Council have jointly decided to cancel the meeting of TCDSU Council which was due to take place next Tuesday March 10th. This is due to the growing concern about COVID-19 within the college community. We hope to be able to proceed with the final Council of the year at the end of the month, and to hold USI Hustings at another time.”

An email sent to class representatives  by Engineering, Maths and Science (EMS) Faculty Convenor Daniel O’Reilly said: “There is a rumor circulating that an individual in attendance at the Election Count on 27th of February has today tested positive for COVID19. The chair and secretary of Council have made the decision to cancel the council that was supposed to happen on Tuesday as a precautionary measure.”

Brennan said that she “cannot confirm any rumours relating to possible contact with an affected individual at last Thursday’s election count”. She added: “No student has contacted TCDSU about this matter.”

Brennan and O’Reilly provided advice if students are concerned they may have been in contact with the virus. Brennan said: “If anybody is concerned about contact with an affected individual, please stay at home and contact college health services. Practice good hygiene, wash hands etc, and be vigilant without unnecessary panic.”

O’Reilly told class representatives: “If you were at the count and have no symptoms, the HSE advice is to carry on with your normal routine unless your normal routine doesn’t involve sneezing into your armpit and washing your hands with soapy water. Add those things to your routine.”

O’Reilly continued that students at the count who have developed symptoms of coronavirus should “think about self isolating, phone your GP or local hospital and tell them your symptoms and details of your situation,” adding “do not travel to your doctor or hospital without phoning them first”.

A case of the coronavirus was confirmed in Trinity last night. Floor 4 of the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute and the lifts in TBSI have been closed as a precautionary measure and will be cleaned in accordance with HSE guidelines.

This article was updated at 5:35pm, Friday March 6, to include comment from Sadhbh Brennan. 

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.