Trinity has set up a contact tracing centre in the Tangent area of the Business School, run by College volunteers trained by army cadets from the Irish defence forces.
Volunteer staff from the College working in the centre will make calls to people who have tested positive to find out if there are others they may have infected.
They’ll then make a series of follow up calls to any individuals who may have been exposed to the virus.
Other universities have also set up centres for contact tracing.
Dr Mary Rose Sweeney, the head of Dublin City University’s (DCU) School of Nursing, told the Irish Times the idea for the tracing centre came about after University College Dublin contacted the college asking if it had the capacity to help with training for UCD’s call centre.
“Then we realised that as well as training, we could also set up a hub here in DCU – we had the facilities and the space so we could put distance between the volunteers as they were working”, Sweeney said.
The University of Limerick (UL) has committed to providing a field hospital on campus so that patients sick with illnesses other than the coronavirus can continue receiving treatment.
UL President Des Fitzgerald said: “We would welcome the opportunity to deal with the more than 8,000 backlog of people waiting to be tested in the mid-west. This is key if the current contact tracing hubs are to do their job.”
Last week, The University Times reported that of Trinity’s science departments had donated personal protective equipment such as masks, goggles and gloves to St James’s and Tallaght hospitals to help healthcare workers treat patients.
Speaking to The University Times, Prof Tomás Ryan, an associate professor in Trinity’s Institute of Neurosciences, said: “We’re just doing what we can.”
“We put a call around Trinity to all the biology departments, also engineering, geography, geology”, Ryan said. “We got a response much better than expected.”