Coronavirus case at Apple’s Irish HQ, Trinity College goes online

DUBLIN (Reuters) – A worker at Apple’s European headquarters in Cork in Ireland has tested positive for coronavirus, one of 24 cases reported so far in the country where its oldest university, Trinity College, has been forced to move all lectures online.

The virus has yet to spread as quickly in Ireland as other European countries, but the government has canceled all St. Patrick’s Day parades due to take place across the country next week to limit the impact. The government has also set aside 3 billion euros to tackle the infection.

Apple, which is one of Ireland’s largest multinational employers, said the employee who tested positive is now in self-isolation and that they feel the risk to others is low while they coordinate closely with local health authorities.

Apple employs 6,000 workers in Ireland’s second largest city of Cork. The iPhone maker said in a statement that it had asked some workers to stay at home as a precaution and that it was continuing to regularly deep clean all its offices and stores.

In Dublin, Trinity College said lectures would be delivered online for the rest of the academic year to May 31, with tutorials, seminars and laboratory practicals continuing using social distancing protocol.

A floor in one of the 428-year old university’s buildings was closed as a precautionary measure last week after it was informed of a positive case within the city-center campus.

In a further blow to Dublin’s tourism sector, Trinity said it would also close its Book of Kells exhibition. The ancient illuminated manuscript book created by Celtic monks in about 800 AD is one of Ireland’s top tourist attractions.

The closure is one of the first such coronavirus-related measures implemented in the country.

(Reporting by Graham Fahy and Padraic Halpin, editing by Louise Heavens and Jane Merriman)

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