Dining Service During Corona Virus

Photo from Article by Bryan Gentry (2017) of Burton Dining Hall’s Buffet. Link to article: https://www.lynchburg.edu/news/2017/08/remodeled-dining-hall-serves-up-pizzazz/

Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor

     As of Aug. 11, 2020, the University of Lynchburg’s Burton Dining Hall resumed normal hours with new and improved processes in response to COVID-19. 

     Shaun Dearden, co-director and operations manager of Dining Services, and Michial Neal, co-director and chef of Dining Services, explained that “[a]ll full-time and part-time staff are trained through the National Restaurant Association ServSafe program and all managers are ServSafe certified. We also adhere to all Virginia Department of Health policies and we are inspected on a regular basis,” but that with the rise of the virus, more restrictions and precautions have been added to help keep the public dining areas safe. 

     The two said, “Masks and the use of hand sanitizer and gloves are required while retrieving any food or beverages. Room capacities have been reduced to 50% and all tables must be 6 feet apart. The West Room and Hall Campus Center Ballroom have been designated as additional seating for students and employees.” These policies allow for social distancing and sanitization to be kept in check while keeping the flow of students moving.

     Dearden and Neal also noted that room monitors have been appointed to ensure that students are also acting to limit contact and promote safety. The monitors “will assist any guests needing guidance on the new COIVD-19 procedures,” said ??

     The dining hall is resuming its usual hours as in previous years, and in the events of classes moving entirely back online, Dearden and Neal say that they “plan to serve food the entire semester” and say that if the housing or class situation changes, the dining hall “will adjust our service as the situations dictate.”

     When discussing the topic of catering events and typical food-centric events, such as Late Night Breakfast, or the Crabfest in the spring semester, the Co-Directors explained that, “Currently, catering will be very limited due to the COVID-19 restrictions. We are researching options for the large school/community events since we are not able to host events of that size.”

    Dining services will be  offering delivery or assistance for students too sick to leave their rooms. Dearden and Neal said  that this service would remain mostly unchanged, adding designated quarantined/isolation rooms and no-contact deliveries for those with Covid-19. 

     For specifics in Coronavirus protocol from the Virginia Department of Health, check out https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/schools-workplaces-community-locations/institutes-of-higher-education/ or visit https://www.servsafe.com/Landing-Pages/Free-Courses to see how the school’s dining staff and faculty are being trained.

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