After winter break, Belmont Hill decided to make a few changes to ensure a return to an academic, extracurricular, and athletic schedule that was as normal as possible. One of the most notable was the “de-densification” of the lunchroom.
The number of students in the lunchroom has been cut in half, and the distance between each person at the lunch tables has been increased. While half of the student body eats in the lunchroom, the other half now picks up lunch and eats with a proctor in their designated locations, similar to the grab-and-go lunches implemented in the fall.
This change was due to the uptick in COVID cases as a result of the omicron variant, which began to become a threat around the start of 2022. By reducing the number of students in the lunchroom and spreading them out, there is a smaller chance of COVID being spread, which allows all other activities to run smoothly without cancellations or shifts to online work.
Although the goal is to decrease the spread of COVID, there is a flaw in the system. When everyone packs into the lunchroom at 1:40 to grab their food, there is no social distancing, thus facilitating the spread of COVID.
Though the lunch has not been normal for the past few weeks, there will be a return to hot-food, family-style lunch on February 7th. Additionally, snack bar and chapel will be returning this coming week. As Belmont Hill continues to navigate through the pandemic, it must be ready to adapt to the changing circumstances. Hopefully, a return to pre-COVID times is not too far away.