Co-ops Navigate COVID-19 Cases

COVID-19 cases have increased on campus over the last week. Between May 13–19, Oberlin recorded 63 positive COVID cases. As a result, co-ops in the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association have worked to adapt to the increased number of sick students.

Earlier this week, Pyle Inn sent out an emergency request to other co-ops asking for assistance covering the shifts of co-op members with COVID. The co-op has also moved exclusively to grab-and-go to reduce further exposure among the membership.

While there is no precedent for such a request in recent OSCA memory, it was urgent to fill the open shifts because there was a possibility that the co-op would have to cancel over six meals a week, which would create an accessibility concern.

“With the large number of empty spots on our work chart, our regular practice of asking for people to fill in for individual shifts became too chaotic and unmanageable,” College first-year and Pyle Dining Loose Ends Coordinator Susanne Goldstein wrote in an email to the Review. “However, most of the other co-ops are also thinly spread with their own shifts, so we relied mainly on our own membership. … Thanks to how much everyone stepped up, we haven’t had to cancel any meals this week, which has been really great.”

Like Pyle, Harkness House co-op is also grappling with a large number of sick members. In response to the shortage, College first-year and Head Cook Abigail Nordan made a chart to organize the substitute requests in their co-op.

“There’s always times when people are sick and there’s kind of an influx in a need for subs and coverage and stuff like that,” Nordan said. “The reason I made that chart is just because I was having a hard time keeping track of what had been covered and what hadn’t.”