Each Friday Food Management compiles a list that highlights five things you probably missed in the onsite foodservice news that week and why you should care about them.
Here’s your list for the week of March 8:
- Texas Rangers plan to play before full capacity crowds when MLB season opens
The Texas Rangers reportedly became the first Major League Baseball team to announce that they will allow full capacity in their home ballpark—the brand-new Globe Life Field—during the 2021 season, following the state’s recent announcement that it is ending its COVID-imposed lockdown. Meanwhile, Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones is also pushing for 100% capacity at the team’s AT&T Stadium when the 2021 NFL season opens this fall
Read more: Play Ball! Texas Rangers Become First to Allow 100% Capacity in the Stands for Opening Day
- Government says nursing home visits now OK for vaccinated seniors
New policy guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) says nursing home residents vaccinated against COVID-19 can again receive indoor visits, loosening a difficult situation for eldercare facilities where pandemic-imposed isolation has taken a severe psychological toll on residents. CMS did emphasize in its announcement that maintaining six feet of separation is still the safest policy and that outdoor visits are preferable even when residents and visitors have been vaccinated.
Read more: Nursing Home Residents Can Get Hugs Again, Feds Say
- Report notes California school meals are still meat-heavy
A new report from the Friends of the Earth organization, The State of School Lunch in California, finds that cheeseburgers, meat pizzas, chicken nuggets and hot dogs are among the most widely served items on school menus in the state, with only 4% of entrees being plant-based and 16% containing processed meat. The study analyzed more than 1,300 entrees from California’s 25 largest K-12 school districts.
Read more: New report: California school meals fall short on health and climate goals with meat-heavy menus
- Record number of rural hospitals shuttered in 2020
A record 20 rural hospitals closed in 2020, likely due, in part, to the COVID-19 pandemic that forced them to discontinue elective and outpatient procedures that account for an average of 76% of their revenue. The study from the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina noted that, compared to those in urban and suburban locations, rural hospitals have lower patient volume and a higher percentage of patients on Medicare and Medicaid that offers lower reimbursement than private insurance, leading to 133 closures in the past decade and another 453 facilities (out of some 1,800) being vulnerable to closure in the future.
Read more: Pandemic pushed rural hospital closures to record number in 2020
- School district stops requiring masks
The board of education of Spearville Schools in Kansas has voted to amend the COVID policies adopted at the beginning of the school year to no longer requiring masks in schools, though any staffer or student wishing to continue to do so may. Other COVID-influenced policies such as temperature checks at the door, having plexiglass shields in the lunchroom and keeping student desks socially distanced remain in effect.
Read more: Western Kansas school district stops requiring masks
Bonus: Report shows huge drop in school meal counts for country’s largest districts
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]