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:
- Study: reopening colleges led to thousands of new COVID cases
Reopening colleges and universities for in-person classes led to more than 3,000 new cases of coronavirus a day that otherwise would not have occurred, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Indiana University, the University of Washington and Davidson College participated in the study, according to The Wall Street Journal. They used GPS tracking data to analyze movements of people, including returning students, and determined the infection rates in counties where colleges were located during the period where campuses began reopening.
In cases where students moved back to near campus but were taking courses online, there was little change. However, they encountered larger spikes where in-person classes resumed, especially in places where students came to campus from other parts of the country with high infection rates.
- House votes to extend school meal waivers through 2020-21 school year
The non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) is praising the House of Representatives’ vote to extend critical school meal program waivers through the end of the 2020/2021 school year and urging speedy Senate approval and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) action to implement the waiver extensions.
The House version of the Continuing Resolution, passed late on September 22, included language allowing USDA to extend all Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) waivers through the end of the school year. The waiver extensions will permit schools to continue offering meals to all children at no charge, minimizing the challenges of meal service and ensuring hungry students have access to healthy school meals during the pandemic.
Read more: SNA Lauds House Vote to Extend Waivers
- CU Boulder shifts to remote learning
University of Colorado Boulder is moving all classes online for two weeks in an effort to stem a surge of coronavirus cases among students, which have accounted for the vast majority of new Boulder County cases in September. Starting Wednesday, all undergraduate, graduate and law classes will be online until at least Oct. 7, Chancellor Phil DiStefano wrote in a letter to the campus Monday.
“At the moment this is a temporary situation, but it could become permanent if we continue to disregard public health guidelines,” DiStefano said in a video announcement.
Residence halls and campus dining will remain open, and university officials are urging students to remain in Boulder to prevent the spread of coronavirus to other communities.
- Healthy Food Center opens at Pittsburgh’s Jefferson Hospital
Allegheny Health Network (AHN) is pleased to announce the opening of its latest Healthy Food Center at Jefferson Hospital, marking another expansion milestone for the one-of-a-kind program in the Greater Pittsburgh area. On Friday morning, representatives from AHN Jefferson and the AHN Center for Inclusion Health joined Healthy Food Center employees to cut the celebratory ribbon to the new space.
The Healthy Food Center acts as a “food pharmacy” where patients who lack access to food can receive nutritious food items, education on disease-specific diets and additional resources for other social challenges they may face. The first Center debuted in 2018 at West Penn hospital and in January, a second location opened at Allegheny General Hospital; to date, both locations have provided patients and their families with more than 65,000 meals.
- UMD’s new dining hall project still on track for completion
Despite some small delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, construction projects on the University of Maryland campus are largely on track to meet original deadlines, said Bill Olen, the planning and construction executive director for Facilities Management.
Two dorms and a dining hall between the Ellicott and Cambridge communities are slated to be “substantially” completed by December 2021.
The dorms will be able to house roughly 900 new students, according to Olen. Their total square footage is 271,000 gross square feet and the budget is $129 million. The dining hall will replace the North Campus Dining Hall and will be roughly 70,000 square feet with a budget of $56 million. Olen said it will take Dining Services some time to prepare the new space due to training and inspections.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]