Dining services adjusts operations amidst COVID-19 related closures


Drew Lawson

Picure of the EWU Union Market.

By Keri Kelly, Web Editor

With the recent COVID-19 outbreak across Washington, EWU is adjusting its dining services to meet the needs of students while creating a safe environment.

According to Dave McKay, director of dining services, EWU is keeping the basic minimum of on-campus services open. The only dining services that are still being run are the PUB and the Union Market. Their hours have been limited drastically and the PUB is closed by 4:30 p.m. every afternoon. Only “to-go” items are available for purchase, as well as groceries from the Union Market.

Other dining services such as Panda Express and The Roost have been shut down. However, there are aspirations to reopen Einstein Bros. for pickup only service. The hope is that students could order food on Grubhub in order to limit interaction.

“It meets that daytime coffee need for somebody who just needs a simple breakfast sandwich,” said McKay.

During this time, it is important to EWU Dining Services to prevent the spread of COVID-19. McKay outlined new policies that the dining staff is taking to ensure the safety of everyone.

Every hour, workers are sanitizing the entire PUB while cashiers wear gloves at the registers. There are signs on the floor showing students how far apart they must stand in line.

Due to the decrease of students on campus, the PUB sees less than 40 students daily.

“There is no business,” said McKay.

Bryanne McCoy, a former employee at Freshens, said she has had to move home because of the COVID-19 outbreak. McCoy enjoys eating at the dining halls, especially Freshens and Einstein Bros. When faced with the new dining hall policies, she agreed that this was the best course of action for the safety of EWU.

 “I think it’s smart and makes it safer for the kids who eat there and safer for the employees who work there,” said McCoy.

 Meal plans are also a big issue facing students on campus. EWU is transferring À la Carte points to spring quarter for students who have not utilized all their points. All À la Carte points will then be transferred to fall quarter and are usable until Dec. 15, 2020. More details are available on the EWU Dining Services website.

Currently, Dining Services is only expecting 180 students to be in the residence halls for Spring Quarter according to McKay. During this time, they will be matching their services with the needs of the students. The EWU Dining Services website will continue to be updated as the COVID-19 situation progresses.