The University of Connecticut’s Dining Services team have been updating their practices and rules for the Spring 2022 semester as the university move into a COVID-19 orange level.
For the first weeks of the semester, UConn began in a red level of COVID-19 restrictions. These restrictions include social distancing, no large indoor gatherings, masks required to be worn both indoors and outdoors and meeting capacity limitations, according to the UConn Covid Dashboard. In the last week, the university announced its move into the orange level.
Unlike the red level, orange allows university buildings to alleviate social distancing rules, meaning all seating is open and no physical distancing is required. Additionally, students are now allowed to have other residential students in dorms, and university clubs and organizations are allowed to meet in person, according to the UConn Covid Dashboard.
Tracey Roy, interim executive director of Dining Services, spoke about how the university’s shift to orange impacted UConn dining services in particular.
“The Dining facilities in Orange are able to return to full seating capacity. Students will still need to wear masks when not eating or drinking food,” Roy said in an email interview.
As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, Roy said the university and Dining Services are ready to adapt and update policies as needed. For example, a major change made by Dining Services from last semester pertains to the use of to go containers.
Previously, upon student request, to go boxes could be provided under any circumstances.
This semester, the option to take out meals from dining halls has been revoked unless students are listed as a COVID-19 close contact, the UConn Dining Services website reads.
Roy said retail locations are the only university dining option which regularly provides food to go in the Spring 2022 semester. She said these locations, like the Beanery Cafe and CrossRoads Cafe, are a good way for students to get to go meals as dining will not longer provide them.
“Retail will continue to provide an alternative to the Dining Halls. Dining Halls will no longer provide to go unless you are preapproved,” Roy said.
Roy said UConn Dining is hopeful about the future as the university moves into a less restricted level of COVID-19 restrictions.
“Dining Services like many people on campus are looking forward to a safe lifting of requirements as time goes on,” Roy said.