UI dining opens dine-in services

The University opened dine-in options for resident students, following the Champaign Urbana Health District and the State of Illinois’ Restore Illinois Mitigation Plan.

All 10 dining halls can utilize 25% of the space for seating and are limited to four people per table. 

Initially, carry out and pre boxed meals were the only options available.Chelsea Hamilton, Assistant Communications and Marketing Director said Housing took significant precaution prior to opening up. 

“Now that we have gotten through Labor Day, and we have gotten through the Chancellor’s limited activities for the last two weeks that we have gone through his mandate, we are ready to open up,” Hamilton said. 

Staff members will work as hosts using a numbering system to seat students 6-feet apart to ensure social distancing and to make sure tables have been sanitized prior to seating anyone. Students also must also wear masks, unless they are seated at their table. 

The University is not only taking precaution for students, but for the staff as well. Hamilton said the staff is required to get tested weekly and follow all safety protocols. 

“Our staff are also dressed in PP at all times and they are working social distance wear masks in the kitchen, and behind the lines,” Hamilton said. “So we’re really watching  our staff to make sure that they are also following the guidelines from the CDC, Champaign Health District in our campus as well on what’s expected for COVID-19 COVID-19 protection.” 

Despite the precautions, Rino Veljacic, sophomore in Applied Health Sciences, said that dining halls should have remained carry-out only.

“I think that’s not a smart move because you never really know who has COVID,” Veljacic said.

While Iman Williamson, resident advisor and senior in I-Health, is concerned about the spread of COVID-19, she believes students will appreciate the transition. 

“I am okay with open seating in the dining halls as long as they follow the CDC( Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines,” Williamson said. “It’s nice to offer students the choice and it’ll be one of the few ways students can connect with each other.”

More information on COVID-19 and dining hall can be found on the website.