Several Trinity departments have announced the cessation of all in person education in order to prevent spread of the coronavirus. The departments of Film, Classics, History and Sociology will halt all onsite lectures, tutorials and seminars from 9am tomorrow.
These announcements follow on from a college wide decision to move lectures onto Blackboard to minimise COVID-19’s spread on campus. In an email sent to students and staff, the Provost announced that no more lectures would be held on campus from Wednesday until the end of the term, a dramatic shift in the college’s response to the coronavirus. However, the email stated that “tutorials, seminars and laboratory practicals will all continue to be given in the usual fashion while using social distancing protocols”.
Both the History and the Classics departments have decided to take the limitations one step further and subsequently circulated emails to students and faculty about their decision to cease all onsite education, with the Classics department citing “the interest of student safety”. The department of Sociology also called off Sociology tutorials, promising future “technological solutions” to allow tutorials to go up online.
In addition, Trinity’s Film department sent an email to students clarifying that “all [film] classes are lectures, therefore, please do not attend college”. Meanwhile, the School of Engineering is currently “considering its position” in response to the viral outbreak, but until further updates will continue all labs and tutorials as scheduled.
Trinity set up an expert working group to monitor the spread of coronavirus last January. The first case was announced in Trinity’s Biomedical Science Institute (TBSI) last Thursday, and the lift and fourth floor were closed off as a precaution. Hand sanitiser has since been circulated on campus and the Book of Kells exhibition and the Old Library, the Science Gallery and the Douglas Hyde gallery were closed from 1pm today.
For all departments where tutorials seminars and labs are continuing as usual, Trinity recommends maintaining “social distancing protocols” of several feet in order to minimise the risk of close contact and infection.