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:
- UNC-Chapel Hill halts in-person classes after 130 students test COVID-positive
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill abruptly decided it will no longer hold in-person classes on campus after about 130 students tested positive for Covid-19 in the first week since classes began.
Effective Aug. 19, all undergraduate in-person instruction will shift to remote learning, they write. The university also expects the majority of undergraduate residential students to change their residential plans for the fall.
- Major new corporate HQ campus to be sold off in favor of remote work
Before the pandemic hit, summer 2020 was supposed to mark the grand opening of REI's new eight-acre headquarters in Bellevue, Washington. The move was long awaited and eagerly hyped. Plans for the new location, which included a 380,000-square-foot office building and trendy features like rooftop terraces and blueberry bogs, were drawn up in 2016. Construction began two years later.
Now, just months after the project's completion, REI has announced plans to sell the new location—terraces, bogs, and all. The coronavirus crisis forced the retailer to implement a remote working policy for its 1,200 headquarters employees on March 2 (some of whom were subsequently laid off) and close all of its stores on Match 16, moves that rapidly changed the way the company operates.
- Amazon reportedly considering move out of Seattle to suburbs
Amazon is downplaying the latest report that it plans to shift Seattle employees to the suburbs, but business leaders and economic experts warn that, with the pandemic, expensive cities like Seattle face an increasing risk of a corporate exodus, a trend that impacts onsite dining operations at some of the most prestigious venues in the corporate dining market.
Bloomberg had reported that Amazon had offered its Seattle-based employees the choice of working in five outlying communities: Bothell/Woodinville, Renton, Tacoma, Redmond, or Issaquah.
The Seattle-based online retailer, which normally has around 50,000 employees in Seattle, declined to comment publicly on the Bloomberg reports, but a source familiar with the matter said Amazon workers simply were queried as part of a routine survey. Their responses would help “inform decisions about our long-term growth, especially as COVID-19 is creating new opportunities for workplace options for our corporate employees.”
- Columbia to hold all undergrad classes online this fall
Columbia University will hold all classes for undergraduates online this fall, officials announced. President Lee Bollinger had hoped that 60% of classes could have been in person, but reversed course due to coronavirus constraints, he wrote in a letter to the students and staff.
The school will now only host a limited number of students who must live on campus due to “personal or academic” circumstances, according to the letter.
- San Francisco to reduce animal products in jail and hospital meals
As the world turns its attention to the risk of eating meat, the city of San Francisco plans to reduce the consumption of animal products in city jails and public hospitals. The City Board of Supervisors passed a vote stating: “Jails must reduce purchases of animal products by 50 percent in 2024, and public hospitals, including Zuckerberg General and Laguna Honda, must reduce animal product purchases by 15 percent in 2023," according to San Francisco Weekly.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]