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18% said their school was “not currently doing anything” to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at lunch.

5 things: K-12 survey finds 18% don’t have lunchtime COVID prevention policies

This and Ohio State returning to limited in-person dining are some of the stories you may have missed recently.

In this edition of 5 Things, Food Management highlights five things you may have missed recently about developments affecting onsite dining.

Here’s your list for today:

  1. K-12 survey: 18% don’t have lunchtime COVID prevention policies

In a December online survey of 1,210 K-12 teachers and administrators conducted by the EdWeek Research Center, 18% said their school was “not currently doing anything” to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at lunch. Among those that were, half said students are required to social distance in the cafeteria, and nearly half (47%) said their school had reduced the number of students who could eat in the lunchroom at a given time.

Read more: COVID Precautions in the Cafeteria? 1 in 5 Educators Say Schools ‘Not Doing Anything’

  1. Ohio State reopens dining halls to limited in-person dining

After a week of takeout-only dining, Ohio State University on Jan. 14 returned to in person eating at its three Traditions campus dining hall locations, as well as at the 12th Ave Bread Company retail dining location. However, seating at the Traditions locations is being limited to 40% capacity for the spring semester per a previously announced policy. A number of major universities have gone to takeout-only dining to begin the spring term due to the recent surge in Omicron infections.

Read more: In-Person Dining Returns to Traditions Locations

  1. High school orders takeout pizza due to kitchen staff shortage

Independence High School in Ohio served takeout pizza from local pizzeria Romito’s, along with a fruit, vegetable, and milk, on Jan. 14. School officials said there will be no other options available to students because of a lunchroom staff shortage and asked parents to plan ahead if they want their child to eat something else at school.

Read more: Takeout pizza to be served to Independence High School students due to cafeteria staff shortage

  1. Microsoft study: remote work may have long-term negative impact

An extensive study of remote and hybrid work by Microsoft that looked at data from more than 60,000 of its employees over a six-month period, found that while short-term productivity may go up under such work regimens, long-term productivity will likely go down. “[S]hifting to firm-wide remote work caused the collaboration network to become more heavily siloed,” something that may “impede the transfer of knowledge and reduce the quality of workers’ output,” according to the study conclusion. “We expect that the effects we observe on workers’ collaboration and communication patterns will impact productivity and, in the long-term, innovation,” it added.   

Read more: The Impact Of Remote Work On Productivity And Creativity

  1. Texas A&M debuts new West Campus food hall

Texas A&M University is opening its new two-story West Campus Food Hall for the start of its spring semester on Jan. 18 with two restaurants: Copperhead Jack's and Houston Street Subs. More vendors will continue to open as construction finishes throughout 2022.

Read more: New West Campus dining options to open Jan. 18

Bonus: Nominations now open for Food Management’s Best Concepts awards program for 2022

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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