Residence halls take precautions

By Brian W. Vaszily

Precautionary measures have been taken by Residence Hall Food Services to ensure the virus which caused gastrointestinal illness in about 150 Douglas Hall residents is eliminated.

Instead of the usual fruit bowl and salad bar, Douglas Hall food servers have been passing out fruit and individually wrapped salads upon request. In addition, disposable paper or plastic plates, bowls, cups and utensils have replaced the washables and are being distributed on an individual basis.

“We were asked to take these measures for a period of time,” said Ralph Chaplin, director of Residence Halls Food Services. “They will be lifted, though not until Monday of next week, provided all of the residents stay healthy,” Chaplin said.

Only two more cases of the Norwalk virus, the name of the acute but temporary disease, have been reported since the weekend. According to Chaplin, these are secondary cases, where the illness was passed among the residents, not from any food.

Those food workers who were sick were told not to report to work for three full days after they felt better. Food workers in Douglas Hall also are wearing plastic gloves, and Chaplin said that “hand-washing has been stressed even more than before, and will continue to be stressed.”

The Residence Hall Association and Student Affairs have distributed information about the Norwalk virus to Douglas Hall residents. In addition, anti-bacterial soap was placed in all Douglas Hall bathrooms and signs were posted in Douglas Hall and other residence halls stressing hygiene.

The signs will remain posted throughout the residence halls at least until Thanksgiving break.