Residents of Trinity accommodation on clinical placement will be permitted to stay in their accommodation, following College’s instruction that all students living in college accommodation must leave this week except those in exceptional circumstances.
Fourth year Nursing and Midwifery students on internship and fifth year students in the School of Pharmacy on internship, “i.e. working in the frontline of the health service,” are permitted to stay in their college residence, the Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery Anne-Marie Brady confirmed to Trinity News.
“These students will be permitted to stay and communication will be progressed to them,” she said. However, the students must still contact College through the relevant email and notify Trinity that they will be remaining.
Trinity residents with homes in Ireland were informed last night that they must vacate their accommodation by 8pm today, while students from overseas are to leave their accommodation by 5pm Wednesday, barring some exceptional circumstances. Students on clinical placement were not previously included in the list of exceptional circumstances that permitted some students to stay.
When College circulated an email last night informing residents that they must vacate, the list of extenuating circumstances 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’s required for their thesis.
This afternoon, Trinity added that students who have temporarily left College will not be required to return to collect their belongings and empty their apartment, a U-turn from College’s initial demands.
Additionally, having an immunocompromised family member at home was added to the list of criteria by which some residents are exempt from having to move out, while fifth year medical students and international students with barriers to travel were also informed that they are not required to leave.
Trinity also announced that students living in Kavanagh Court and Binary Hub were no longer required to vacate, despite College initially requesting that they leave their accommodation. The Trinity website says that “in respect of students resident in Kavanagh Court and Binary Hub, we recognise that these properties are not owned or managed by Trinity College but by private providers”.
In an email update this afternoon noted that “key-cards will not be deactivated for the moment to facilitate students to the maximum extent possible”.
“The reality we face is that large, highly concentrated numbers of students will increase the chance of rapid transmission of [the virus],” College said, “and our capacity to quarantine those who are sick and those who have been exposed is extremely limited.”
“As a result you are being asked now to go to places where you will be safer, both for your own health and for the greater good. We know that this is an extraordinarily difficult time.”
Two more cases of coronavirus among Trinity staff and students was announced this evening, bringing the total number of Covid-19 cases among the Trinity community to 10.
69 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in the Republic today, bringing the total number to 292.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced closure of universities in response to the coronavirus in a statement to the media in Washington DC last Thursday.
In an email circulated to staff and students shortly after 5pm on the same day, Provost Patrick Prendergast confirmed that while the government’s decision is in effect until March 29, it “would be wise to allow for the possibility of a longer closure”.
College is also making preparations to replace exams with alternative online assessments.