Goldsmith Hall residents to be tested for Covid-19 after three virus cases confirmed

College is aware of one confirmed case of Covid-19 in accommodation on the main campus

Three people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Trinity’s Goldsmith Hall residence, College has confirmed.

All student residents and support staff working in Goldsmith Hall are to be tested for Covid-19 at the Aviva Stadium testing centre as a “precautionary measure”.

Additionally, College is aware of one confirmed case of Covid-19 in accommodation on the main campus.

The decision to test residents and staff in Goldsmith Hall comes because outbreaks are assessed on a case by case basis in consultation with the Department of Health and the HSE, a spokesperson for College said.

Speaking to Trinity News, a spokesperson for College said that that close contacts of the confirmed cases have been contacted by HSE contract tracers and tested.

“In addition, as a precautionary measure, all residents of Goldsmith Hall and support staff will be offered a test as soon as possible,” the spokesperson said.

“These tests will take place at the Aviva testing site.”

People also need to follow all guidelines to minimise transmission of Covid-19, according to the College Health Service. 

In addition to regular handwashing, cough etiquette, physical distancing and face coverings, it is “critical” that people from different apartments do not meet up socially and that no one enters an apartment where they are not residing.

Anyone who develops symptoms should self-isolate and contact College Health.

Most apartments in Goldsmith Hall, where there are currently around 135 residents, include four to five bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a shared kitchen and living area.

Residents are being advised that they do not need to restrict their movements while waiting for their test results, except for those who are close contacts of confirmed cases.

However, they are being asked to monitor themselves for symptoms of Covid-19.

In an email to residents yesterday seen by Trinity News, Director of College Health Service David McGrath said there has been a “significant increase” in people presenting to the College health service with Covid-19 type symptoms.

McGrath told students there was a “number of positive cases on campus”.

“I would strongly encourage you to familiarise yourself with the current regulations issued by the government regarding Covid-19,”

Students were subsequently sent a form from the Accommodation Office asking them to enter their name, student ID number, room number, phone number, and whether they would be in their room on the night of February 3, February 4, or both.

Later this afternoon, residents were told that the Health Service had been notified of an “outbreak of Covid-19 in residential accommodation on campus”. 

“So far, a number of positive cases have been confirmed in Goldsmith Hall,” McGrath said today.

“The HSE has requested that we provide contact details for residents to be tested, including a mobile phone number. This is necessary so that you can be contacted to arrange a test and provide your result in due course,” he said.

Students are to receive a text of their phone from the HSE with the date, time and location of their test.

“It is critical that you attend at the correct time,” McGrath said.

“Should you have a College-related commitment at the time allocated for your test, please prioritise the test and inform your School that you are required to attend for a test.”

“For those who have been tested as close contacts and received a negative test, you will receive an appointment for a further test next Tuesday at College.”

“This does not apply to people who are to be tested at the Aviva.”

As of the start of this week, no outbreaks of the virus had been confirmed in Trinity Hall (Halls), College told Trinity News.

In October, College confirmed to Trinity News that students living together in an apartment are recognised as a household and will be asked to restrict their movements if a student in their apartment has symptoms of Covid-19.

College accommodation has remained open this semester for students living on campus.

However, College asked students to consider whether it was necessary for them to return after Christmas in a bid to curb unnecessary movement during Level Five restrictions.

Students living on-campus who choose to leave before the end of February will only be charged for the time they spent in their residence.

Lauren Boland

Lauren Boland was the Editor of the 67th volume of Trinity News. She is an English Literature and Sociology graduate and previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.