Taoiseach announces colleges and schools will close

Leo Varkadkar says “we have a duty as a society to protect ourselves and above all to protect others”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced that colleges and schools will close from tomorrow in response to the coronavirus in a statement to the media in Washington DC.

The Taoiseach said that “where possible” teaching will be continued online. Colleges have been told to remain closed until March 29.

Varadkar stated: “There will be many more cases. More people will get sick and we must face the tragic reality that some people will die.”

He added: “We have a duty as a society to protect ourselves and above all to protect others”.

So far there have been 42 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Republic of Ireland, with a further 18 confirmed cases in Northern Ireland. Yesterday the first death due to the coronavirus in Ireland was announced.

On Tuesday, Trinity took the decision to move all lectures online, while some schools within College have taken the decision to cancel all in-person classes.

For 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.

The first case of coronavirus within Trinity was confirmed last Thursday, with the second case, a Health Sciences student, was confirmed last night.

Hand sanitisers have been provided across campus and in off-campus locations in a bid to prevent a possible spread of infection. College has placed posters across campus with information on the virus, and has established a dedicated web page to provide updates and advice.

Trinity set up an expert working group to monitor the ongoing situation with the coronavirus in January.

Finn Purdy

Finn Purdy is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News. He is a Junior Sophister English Studies student, and a former News Editor and Assistant News Editor.