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The Toms River Regional school district in New Jersey is laying off 240 employees, including scores of cafeteria workers and aides.

5 coronavirus things: School cafeteria workers laid off; reassigned to assist with students’ learning programs

This and SUNY Oneonta closing campus for two weeks are some of the stories you may have missed recently regarding the COVID-19 crisis.

In this special edition of 5 Things, Food Management highlights five things you may have missed recently about developments regarding coronavirus and its impact on onsite dining.

Here’s your list for today:

1. SUNY Oneonta shuts down for two weeks

New York State will shut down SUNY Oneonta for two weeks of instruction after 105 students tested positive for coronavirus, as state health officials sought to manage the growing crisis and cited the presence of symptomatic students at large parties.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Sunday deployed a virus SWAT team to SUNY Oneonta to help handle the outbreak. The campus will be closed for two weeks and shift to remote learning, but students can stay on campus grounds with only "limited campus activity," according to a SUNY news release.

Read more: Official: SUNY Oneonta closing for 2 weeks due to COVID-19 outbreak

2. New Jersey districts lays off 50 cafeteria workers among 240 cuts

The Toms River Regional school district in New Jersey, facing a historic budget crisis thanks to a combination in state funding cuts plus the expected financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, will lay off 240 employees. Meanwhile, another 333 employees will work remotely to start off the school year.

The Board of Education unanimously—but with a collective sense of regret—voted in favor of providing 60 days’ notice to all of the affected employees, all of whom are non-instructional staff. The layoffs will include 90 bus drivers, 50 cafeteria workers, 70 cafeteria and playground aides, 25 bus attendants and several mechanics.

Read more: Toms River Schools to Lay Off 240 Employees; 333 Employees to Work Remotely

3. Pinterest lease cancellation latest blow to San Fran office market

Pinterest terminated a massive 490,000-square-foot lease at San Francisco’s unbuilt 88 Bluxome project, citing a shift toward more remote work amid the coronavirus pandemic. The company will instead continue leasing four existing San Francisco offices, including 651 Brannan St., and pay a one-time fee of $89.5 million to cancel the Bluxome lease. The cancellation is the strongest sign yet of how the coronavirus is reducing the tech sector’s once-voracious appetite for office space.

Read more: Pinterest cancels huge SF office lease in unbuilt project, citing work-from-home shift

4. School cafeteria workers reassigned to assist with online learning program

The Wake County Public School System in North Carolina has notified some employees—including cafeteria workers and school bus drivers—that they will be reassigned to work more closely with students, supervising the children of teachers and others who are leading the district's online learning program.

In the letter to employees, Wake County Assistant Superintendent Anthony Muttillo wrote, "Employees in this program will be providing a valuable service by assisting and supervising school-age children of our current staff during school hours, so that staff members are relieved of childcare responsibilities and can focus on meeting the educational needs of our students ...".

Read more: Wake schools asking cafeteria workers, bus drivers to help with child care

5. Cashier-less store trend growing

Pretty soon you might find Amazon Go-like concepts just about everywhere.

Mastercard on Friday said it's joining the effort to create more of these kinds of cashierless stores, unveiling a platform it calls Shop Anywhere. It teamed up with retail tech company Accel Robotics to create a handful of new test concepts that let customers check into a store, grab what they want and walk out.

For instance, the team created a new self-service Dunkin' store that allows people to check in at a kiosk, get doughnuts and coffee, and leave without stopping at a cashier.

Similar small-scale pilots were created with Delaware North, which runs stadiums, and Circle K, a gas station operator.

Read more: Cashierless stores are popping up at gas stations, stadiums and even Dunkin'

Bonus: 10 ways for food service chefs to fire up the flavors of Spain

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

TAGS: Coronavirus
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