Coronavirus mitigation shuts down convenient food locations

On Wednesday, September 9, Concordia Dining Services sent out an email informing students of the closing of both the Korn Krib and the Coffee Stop until September 23. This closing was in response to COVID mitigation protocols and has affected many students differently.

For some this was no large change, as they had never stepped foot into the Korn Krib, or purchased coffee at the Coffee Stop. Some had visited either establishment a few times, and found the change does not affect them. For others, like Cary Armagost, this change was monumental. 

“When they closed, I had no idea where I was going to stock up on Red Bulls. I guess I would have to go to a normal store,” Armagost said when asked about the effects of the closing. 

The Korn Krib packed with food, Concordia College

Just like Armagost, this change hindered the snacking and drinking experience of a majority of Concordia’s student body. With the Coffee Stop closed, the nearest supply of coffee was Third Drop Coffee on 4th St, a three minute drive from campus. The time it would take to get in a vehicle, drive to Third Drop, get coffee, and drive back to campus is three times longer than it used to take to get coffee. What used to be a quick walk into Knutson became a borderline road-trip. This also applied to the snack-heads as well, as the nearest snack outlet, Hornbacher’s on 11th St, is a four minute drive, adding even more time than the coffee drinkers.

This closing was not all bad as this decision was important to mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Given the amount of student traffic through both establishments, the closing seems logical. Minimizing the amount of people in a closed space, and breaking down on close quarters interactions was a decision directly influenced by the COVID-19 outbreak. This decision, and others regarding COVID-19 can be seen all throughout Dining Services this semester. A new location to get food was opened in the Centrum, and Anderson Commons has been rearranged to create a more safe environment for people to dine. 

Marketing Assistant of Dining Services, Evan Hart, said “Although it was not Dining Service’s choice, closing (the Korn Krib) was a good idea. Breaking down on the traffic in that area, especially during rush times, was really important.”

While the Coffee Stop is not an enclosed area, slowing down the traffic in that area was also crucial. The difference, aside from location, between the two shops is the amount of staff interaction between customers. The Korn Krib might be an enclosed space, and have little room for social distancing, but the staff at the Coffee Stop have a different interaction with customers, and customer products. At the Coffee Stop, all the cups, coffee and food would be touched by an employee at some point. 

Stephanie Dalen, a Coffee Stop worker is happy they closed.

“We touch everyone’s drinks, so I think it was a smart move to close,” said Dalen. “I do miss making coffee for people, it’s my favorite job.”

The Korn Krib and Coffee Stop re-opened on September 23, so students can once again stop by for snacks or take a coffee break. For more information about the Korn Krib and Coffee Stop, visit Concordia’s dining services site at https://www.concordiacollege.edu/student-life/dining-services/

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