Catering Services At USU Feeding Quarantined Students
Sep 1, 2020, 6:19 PM | Updated: 11:59 pm
LOGAN, Utah – Four dorms at Utah State University are under quarantine after evidence of COVID-19 was found in wastewater coming from those buildings. In order to help them all stay inside, food is being delivered three times a day.
They’ve got to deliver to no only the four dormitories under quarantine, but also to anyone else who ends up in that situation at the two-dozen student housing buildings around campus.
That means packing each of the sack meals ahead of time, including special meals for people with dietary restrictions.
While lunch was being sent out, chefs were already starting work on dinner.
There’s a team of about 80 total, with catering and dining services who all work together to get the meals made and ultimately delivered right to the dorms.
“They can hear us coming, because we have our giant tall carts, and they’re not quiet, so they’ll hear us and they’ll open their windows, and say, ‘Thank you so much, we loved everything we got!’ And so it’s really nice to see that they are appreciative, and they know when we’re coming,” said McKenna Greco, catering supervisor.
Catering manager Nick Taylor saw it as just another catering gig.
“We’re used to it, so it’s not necessarily crazy, but the circumstances are,” he said.
Those circumstances came into play pretty quickly, starting Sunday afternoon, when wastewater from four dorms showed signs of COVID-19.
Amy Rasmussen, associate director of catering and event services, said this is a plan set in motion that started coming together months ago.
“We probably started getting the information at about 1 o’clock on Sunday, and by 4 (p.m.), we were ready to deliver the meals,” Rasmussen said.
Such a large quarantine so soon was unexpected, but they said it’s working so far.
But the list for who needs a meal is always changing.
“We are very aware that we may be serving people in the morning that we weren’t serving for dinner,” Greco said.
For fall 2020, that’s just part of the job.
Some of the COVID-19 tests for students in these four dorms are expected back by early Wednesday.
Still, there are over two dozen dormitories across the campus, with well over 3,000 people.
Food services have to be ready to help any of them that end up quarantined.