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The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has issued a ruling that obsessive cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces—sometimes derisively called “hygiene theater”—has minimal value in preventing COVID-19 infection.

5 things: ‘Hygiene theater’ has minimal effect in preventing COVID infections, says CDC

This and a study showing only about a third of K-12 students back in class full-time are some of the stories you may have missed recently.

In this edition of 5 Things, Food Management highlights five things you may have missed recently about developments affecting onsite dining.

Here’s your list for today:

  1. Study shows only about a third of K-12 students back in class full-time

While 46% of public schools offered five days a week of in-person learning to all students in February, just 34% of students were learning full time in the classroom, according to a survey released by the Biden administration, which also showed that the gap was most pronounced among older K-12 students, with just 29% of eighth graders getting five days a week of learning at school. The findings are based on a survey of 3,500 public schools that serve fourth graders and 3,500 schools that serve eighth graders gathered from data from schools in 37 states that agreed to participate.

Read more: Survey: Even as schools reopen, many students learn remotely

  1. CDC says “hygiene theater” has minimal effect in preventing COVID infections

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has issued a ruling that obsessive cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces—sometimes derisively called “hygiene theater”—has minimal value in preventing COVID-19 infection. “People can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 through contact with surfaces and objects, however evidence has demonstrated that the risk by this route of transmission is actually low," explained CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky during a White House press briefing. However, the CDC still recommends using disinfectants in schools, or anywhere that a person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been.

Read more: Ditch the Clorox: CDC tells businesses to 'end hygiene theater' because risk of being infected with COVID through surfaces is 'low'

  1. Survey shows half of workers prefer home/office flexibility

Nearly half of the 1,000 full- and part-time U.S. employees over age 18 responding to a February survey by workplace safety tool vendor Envoy say they want the flexibility to spend some of the workweek in the office and some of it working from home, and would likely look for another job if their employer does not offer a hybrid workplace. Among all respondents, 66% said they are worried about returning to work, including 82% of employees of color.

Read more: Survey: Employees Would Rather Quit Than Lose Remote-Work Flexibility

  1. Tufts to convert dining hall to all gluten/peanut/tree nut-free facility

Carmichael Dining Center at Tufts University will be converted and rebranded into a gluten-, peanut- and tree nut-free facility that will operate more like a retail outlet than a traditional all-you-care-to-eat campus dining hall starting this fall. “For many years we’ve provided gluten free foods in the dining centers, but because we continue to use gluten containing ingredients in those locations, students could inadvertently be affected by cross contact,” explains Patti Klos, director of Tufts Dining and Business Services. “Many of our peer institutions have a location dedicated to gluten free [dining], and think the time is right for us to take this step for the Tufts community.”

Read more: Carmichael Dining Center to be rebranded as gluten, peanut, tree nut-free establishment

  1. Hospital prevented from early termination of Tim Horton’s lease

State Supreme Court Justice Timothy J. Walker has stopped Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) in Buffalo from early termination of its lease with a Tim Horton’s unit in the hospital’s lobby. The hospital wants locations serving healthier options than the Tim Horton’s menu, but the ruling states that "there is no mechanism by which [ECMC] may be permitted to reform the lease," which currently runs through May 31, 2023.

Read more: Judge: ECMC must honor Benderson lease, despite objections to doughnuts and rent

Bonus: Viewpoint: Aramark’s plan for reinvigorating the college campus

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

TAGS: Coronavirus
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