The College saw a small number of new COVID-19 cases as students and staff returned to campus after fall break. Two students and one staff member tested positive for the virus on October 14, followed by two more positive cases among staff members on October 17 and 18. Both students who tested positive are still in isolation, as per College policy.
This minimal spread of the virus enabled the College to transition back to Green status on October 17. The move eased the restrictions limiting gatherings and requiring face masks in most indoor settings on campus. Notably, it also reopened indoor dining to 100 percent capacity.
Over fall break, Interim Director of Dining Ken Cardone set plans in motion to open Moulton Dining Hall and Thorne Dining Hall. This required washable dishes and silverware as well as securing eight additional dining employees to manage each warewashing area. Cardone noted the challenges in filling these positions given current labor shortages.
“We’re about 50 percent staffed,” Cardone said. “In the past, we had a core of casual staff that came in [to] help fill those vacancies when needed … that’s not available anymore.”
In addition to staffing shortages, supply issues are persisting as Dining Services continues to seek out food inventory and disposable packaging for the remainder of the semester. However, Cardone remains confident in the ability of his staff to adapt to new circumstances.
“We just have to make sure we pay attention to conditions and respond accordingly,” Cardone said.” And I think having the flexibility to do that, and be able to do it in a smooth fashion, is what we need to do moving forward, because you don’t know what’s going to happen from one day to the next.”