Rust College closes cafeteria after worker tests positive for COVID-19

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HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. – – Rust College is on high alert after a cafeteria worker tested positive for COVID-19 Thursday. School officials have closed the cafeteria and the worker who tested positive is currently quarantining at home. The other workers she came in contact with are also quarantining.


Dr. Dartell Treadwell is an assistant president at the college. He says no students who ate in the cafeteria need to be tested.


“She (the worker) was behind a shield, had her mask on, had her gloves, served the students,” Dr. Treadwell said, “The interaction would have been 30 seconds or a minute at most.”

With Rust’s only cafeteria shut down, school officials ordered pizza over the weekend for the roughly 300 students on campus. President Ivy Taylor says the college then turned to private vendors like “Annie’s Home Cookin'” just up the street. As of Monday, the restaurant is delivering food straight to the dorms.

“Three meals a day for the students,” Dr. Treadwell said.

As a matter of fact, school officials say the food is being offered to all students on campus whether they have a meal plan or not. Annie’s owner, Annie Moffitt, says her staff members are working around the clock to fill those orders.

“Hard work but you know what, you got to do what you got to do,” Moffitt said, “They (students) gotta eat man and look, they love it!”

Rust officials say the cafeteria was cleaned but will remain closed for two weeks while the workers quarantine. In the meantime, the school will keep using outside vendors including a food truck out of Memphis on weekends.

“That’s kind of the cost of doing business,” Taylor said, “So, we’ll have to figure out how we’ll cover those costs later on.”

The college says some of the workers who are quarantining are also students.

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