Your Guide to COVID-Friendly Dining at Moravian

A+still+taken+from+President+Grigsby%22s+video+address+to+students+days+before+the+semester+began%2C+showing+the+new+stickers+that+encourage+students+to+maintain+a+safe+social+distance+while+getting+food+in+all+dining+locations%3B+Photo+Courtesy+of%3A+moravian.edu%2Ffall-2020

A still taken from President Grigsby”s video address to students days before the semester began, showing the new stickers that encourage students to maintain a safe social distance while getting food in all dining locations; Photo Courtesy of: moravian.edu/fall-2020

Now that the first week of the semester is finishing up, most students have made it to the dining hall at least once. Dining looks incredibly different this year than years past, and we at the Comenian are here to tell you exactly how. 

We want to make the transition to a socially distant-friendly dining as stress-free and relaxing as possible!

Every dining location, like the rest of Moravian campus, requires masks and face coverings at all times. Once you sit down to eat, only then are you allowed to remove your mask. 

The Star

The Star, the main dining hall on Main Street campus, has undergone a lot of work over the summer by the Moravian Dining Services to ensure that students can maintain mindful social distance while also accommodating their busy schedules and needs. 

The first major change is that students are not serving themselves anymore, buffet-style. 

This year, the dining staff are scooping and serving food to each student as they come in line, filling paper take-out containers with each student’s preferences. Hot foods are generally scooped and served, while toppings and cold sides are prepackaged in small cups with lids that students can request with their food. 

This is meant to keep the food covered and protected as students walk around the dining hall, as well as to allow students to easily take it with them take-out-style if there is not enough seating available in the Star (more on that in a minute). Unfortunately, each station will give you a new container — so if you want something from Simple Servings and the Sustainable Table, you have to carry two containers. But Moravian is giving every student a free tote bag to make carrying your food around campus easier!

All foods that used to be self-serve and “build your own” are now premade — the salad bar has premade and prepackaged salads, the fruit cups and pudding is packaged in to-go cups, sandwiches are premade and wrapped, and the soup is scooped for you. 

The Grille is not doing made-to-order meals anymore. Instead, they are preparing and wrapping various grill favorites that students can grab and take with them. This is the same system at the pizza station. 

However, Dining Services wanted to make sure that all students could get food quickly if they needed to and avoid lines if they begin to form, so they installed a new cooler right next to the cash register that serves a Pick 4 style meal. 

For a single swipe, students are able to go right to the cooler without even entering the main dining floorspace, take a sandwich or salad, two sides (pudding, fruit, etc.), and a water bottle. They can then head right back out the exit to avoid the lines and keep moving throughout their day. 

The next major change to the dining hall is the limited occupancy. 

The Star is currently operating at 50% capacity. The booths along the windows are blocked off and tables are spread apart from each other to ensure that no one is too close together when they remove their masks to eat. 

Christine Bainbridge, the marketing manager for dining services, requested in a message to the campus on the Moravian app that students keep the tables where the dining staff has placed them and to not have more than four people sit at a single table at a time. If students are unable to find seating in the Star, they are welcome to take their food outside of the Star, which is a new policy than previous years. 

To go with the take-out style food, the school is also providing numerous plastic utensils, individual packets of jelly, butter, salad dressing, and condiments to help alleviate commonly-touched surfaces. 

Another commonly-touched surface that is being monitored is the touch-screen beverage machines. There are small slips of wax paper that students can use to touch the screen and reduce direct contact with the machine. 

The Star is also closed for seating between 3:00 and 4:30 p.m. each day to allow for a thorough cleaning and sanitizing of tables. 

The final change that the Star is enforcing is to have students swipe their own ID cards and credit cards to enter in hopes of reducing the amount of cross contact between students and staff. 

The Blue & Grey Café

While the Star is very systematic and different this year, the Blue & Grey Café (B&G) has stayed much the same. The main differences are that GrubHub orders will now be placed on a rack outside the café to limit the amount of people waiting inside, and the fact that students will now scan their own cards. 

If students are ordering at the kiosks, they can now swipe their ID or credit card at the kiosk (for any confused students, click “One Card” if you want to use Dining Dollars, and use the swiping apparatus on the kiosk; click credit card if you want to pay with your own credit card, and use the card reader on the table next to the kiosk). 

If you want to buy any other items — prepackaged deli items, snacks, sushi, beverages, and bakery items — you can take them to the register, where you will scan them yourself and swipe your own card with the assistance of the cashier. 

DeLight’s Café

Much of DeLight’s Café’s operations will be the same as well. Dining Services have strongly encouraged contactless ordering by ordering through GrubHub, but the kiosk is still available if you do not order ahead. Students are asked to again pay directly at the kiosk for their meals and to only pay at the cashier for prepackaged items. 

Clewell 

Clewell Dining Hall will also continue to operate much like it has in years past. Made-to-order meals are still available, but buffet-style things like the salad bar are now prepackaged to eliminate high-contact surfaces. Furthermore, Clewell will also be closed from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. for a thorough sanitization. 

This year is stressful enough with the many regulations that are being out in place, so hopefully this guide to dining has cleared up some of the confusion that students are likely to face!