Wayne State Dining Services are adapting their operations to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, statewide executive orders and the local health department to keep patrons safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the changes being made include social distancing, setting occupancy limits, requiring masks, increased cleaning of high-touch surfaces, frequent mandatory handwashing, glove usage and the installment of plexiglass barriers, said Sarah Leiteritz, WSU Dining Services director of operations.
“Associates will be serving all food and beverage, as there will no longer be self-service. We have removed potential contamination points, such as shared condiments, which will be available upon request at each station,” she said. “Carryout will be available and is the preferred method of dining at all locations.”
Most of WSU’s dining locations will reopen in fall with a few exceptions, said Megan Pilkington, WSU Dining Services marketing manager. Dining locations closed this fall include Gold 'n' Greens, The Grind in the David Adamany Undergraduate Library and P.O.D Express stores in the Academic Administration Building and the Faculty Administration Building.
Meal plans were also updated, giving students more of a variety based on their needs, Pilkington said.
“Our new Create-Your-Own Meal Plans allow for students to customize their amount of meal swipes, with options to add Warrior Dollars or a Home Chef Meal Kit —perfect for apartment residents and commuters,” she said.
Sailor Mayes, a WSU sophomore and Housing and Residential Life representative, said her classes are all online this semester, making it easier to limit contact with people around campus and in the dining halls.
“Last year I believe that I had like 15 swipes per week and then I believe I still had 250 Warrior Dollars, but I decided to change it a little bit this year since COVID,” she said. “I’m not going to be going as much as I was last year to the dining services.”
Mayes plans on visiting grocery stores and cooking for herself a lot more this semester, she said.
Midtown Market, previously known as Mad Anthony’s, will remain open this semester, Pilkington said.
“We are excited about the new look of the new store. We have added masks and sanitary supplies to our inventory, along with more grocery items like bread, eggs and milk,” she said.
Changes have also been made to the Student Center, Leiteritz said. Seating and occupancy is reduced by at least 50% and floor stickers mark where students should stand in line to maintain social distance.
Dining service employees also must complete the Campus Daily Screener before each shift, said Alex MacKenzie, WSU Dining Services resident district manager.
“Once at work, their temperature will be checked and facial coverings, frequent hand washing, and glove use are mandatory,” he said.
Dining services are also prepared to serve students if they test positive for COVID-19 with the sick meal delivery program along with a quarantine meal program, in partnership with Housing and Residential Life, MacKenzie said. This program allows meals to be delivered to students’ rooms.
Mayes said she feels confident living on campus during the pandemic.
“Knowing the housing and residential life staff, I can say for a fact that I am very trusting towards them,” she said. “I know that they have worked their butts off to create a really good system for students who are living on campus, so I am not afraid.”
For fall dining locations, hours and information on meal plans, students can visit dining.wayne.edu.
Ursula Krause is a contributing writer for The South End. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by Quinn Banks, The South End's multimedia editor. He can be reached at email@example.com.