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University of Michigan res hall staff striking over COVID policies.jpg pawel.gaul / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Student residence hall staff at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor have gone on strike over what they say are insufficient coronavirus protections.

5 coronavirus things: Universities react to COVID spikes on campus

This and the massive task facing New York City school meal programs 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. New York school kitchens face task of feeding a million-plus kids

The city, which established more than 430 meal hubs at public schools, estimates that 1.2 million New Yorkers were food insecure before the coronavirus outbreak; that number is now believed to be well over two million. Any New Yorker can pick up meals at schools, with no ID or registration required. Since March, more than 54 million meals have been distributed at public schools across the five boroughs.

Now, with in-person classes scheduled to resume on Sept. 21, kitchen crews will face a new challenge: safely feeding over one million schoolchildren, while continuing to provide meals for food-insecure New Yorkers.

Read more These Unsung Heroes of Public School Kitchens Have Fed Millions

  1. University of Arizona asks students to quarantine themselves

The University of Arizona on Monday, Sept. 14, said it will ask students to quarantine themselves for two weeks to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Exceptions will be made for going to class, work or getting supplies or seeking medical treatment.

Read more: University of Arizona asks students to quarantine for two weeks to slow spread of coronavirus

  1. Michigan State students urged to self-quarantine due to COVID spread

Health officials are strongly recommending Michigan State University students living in or near East Lansing self-quarantine immediately following a surge in COVID-19 cases. At least 342 people affiliated with the university have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus since Aug. 24, according to the Ingham County Health Department.

MSU physician David Weismantel said the school is "committed to doing everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

That includes closing portions of dining services during the self-quarantine period.  According to a Facebook post from MSU Culinary Services, the food court and all seating areas within campus dining locations are closed indefinitely, and Sparty's Market closed at 5 p.m. Saturday. There is no official reopening date.

Read more: After 342 new COVID-19 cases in 3 weeks, Michigan State students urged to self-quarantine

  1. SUNY Oswego implements “urgent and severe campus actions” over COVID spike

In the wake of a spike in COVID-19 cases this week, SUNY Oswego announced Sunday morning it would implement a series of “urgent and severe campus actions.” State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras and SUNY Oswego President Deborah Stanley stood as a united front while taking questions from the media at the Marano Campus Center and the pair at once praised the actions of a “large majority” of Laker students and promised swift and serious penalties for violations of coronavirus mitigation methods.

All athletics activities are suspected for the remainder of the fall 2020 season and any student-athlete who violates the order will lose their eligibility, Stanley said. All visitation in residence halls is now prohibited, as is in-person on-campus dining. Hosts and attendees of large group activities will face “student conduct sanctions including automatic suspension or loss of Greek life status.”

Read more: SUNY Oswego implements ‘urgent and severe' COVID actions but in-person classes to continue

  1. University of Michigan res hall staff striking over COVID policies

Student residence hall staff at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor have gone on strike over what they say are insufficient coronavirus protections. The strike, which started on Tuesday, Sept. 8, is happening alongside a strike by U-M graduate student instructors and graduate student staff assistants protesting the university’s return to in-person education.

According to a news release, the student workers have several demands relating to the university’s coronavirus protections and policy enforcement including regular access to testing for all of residence staff; sufficient and effective personal protective equipment for staff and students; enforcement of social distancing and face coverings inside and outside of residence and dining halls; hiring and staffing to normal capacity for all facilities and housing teams; hazard pay for residence staff; and formal no retaliation statement from U-M Housing Administration if a ResStaff Union is formed

Read more: University of Michigan residence hall staff strike, demand increase in coronavirus protections

Bonus: Freshly Serves a New Business Dining Environment

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

TAGS: Coronavirus
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