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Pasadena Unified Temporarily Stops Grab-And-Go Meal Service

A makeshift sign outside of Edison Middle School announces a grab-and-go station. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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The Pasadena Unified School District temporarily suspended free “grab-and-go” meal distribution to students on Monday because of a report that an employee in one of its central kitchens may have contracted coronavirus.

“While the diagnosis of COVID-19 is not confirmed at this time, our hearts are with our PUSD team member and their family during this very difficult time,” Superintendent Brian McDonald wrote in the announcement.

The district initally said that service would not resume until later in the week, but later in the day it sent out an updated message saying meal distribution will resume on Tuesday with help from volunteers and an outside vendor while the kitchen facility is being cleaned. Here's more from the update message:

In an abundance of caution, we temporarily suspended meal service for today, March 30 after we received a report of a possible COVID-19 case involving a PUSD employee who worked in one of our central kitchens. At this time, the case has not been confirmed.

Following the guidance of the Pasadena Public Health Department, deep cleaning and sanitizing of kitchens and facilities will be conducted, and employee’s co-workers were advised of possible exposure. We plan to resume regular meal service by PUSD staff on April 14.

Although we regret the hardship involved with the temporary suspension, we are fully committed to the health and safety of our students, staff, and community. The PUSD team is dedicated to creating solutions on issues affecting students, families and staff.

I am so grateful for the strength and commitment demonstrated every day by the employees of PUSD.

In times of crises such as the one we are living through now, it’s clear that heroes don’t always wear capes. Instead, they use computers and telephones to teach, answer phones and emails to keep our operations functioning, and prepare meals so that our students and their families continue to receive the essential services that they rely on to get through this crisis.

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