Two Kellogg staff test positive for COVID-19 after MBA student outbreak


Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

The Kellogg School of Management Global Hub, 2211 Campus Drive.

Isabelle Sarraf, Campus Editor

Compass Group announced two subcontracted Northwestern staffers who work at the Kellogg Global Hub have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a Tuesday news release.

The two associates, who are both asymptomatic, are self-isolating and will return to work if they remain symptom-free ten days after their test date, the release said. Compass added it has identified and notified anyone who’s worked with or had close contact with the associates.

This comes days after the Kellogg School of Management moved all MBA courses remote for two weeks, following a rise in COVID-19 cases traced to several off-campus student gatherings. After contact tracing students who tested positive, NU found that more than 50 Kellogg students were linked to off-campus social gatherings.

The University asked all full-time MBA students in the Chicago area to adhere to a stay-at-home directive starting Oct. 16 at 10 p.m. through Oct. 30.

“We place the highest priority on the health and safety of students and our associates,” Jennifer Byrdsong, vice president of operations for NU Dining, said. “The issue is confined to the Global Hub facility, and we will remain vigilant while protecting the rights and health of our associates.”

Earlier this month, NU dining and hospitality workers and their student allies held a die-in protest to call attention to recent demands for COVID-19 health and safety protections. 

UNITE HERE Local 1, the union representing these workers, has proposed the workers receive training, quarantine pay, hazard pay and health insurance for laid-off workers among other demands. Compass had extended health insurance contributions for laid-off workers for the month of October after the union delivered a petition to the company, but the union had not heard a response from the University about the petition’s demands.

“We continue to have stringent safety measures in place, including required face coverings, temperature checks and health screenings prior to entry, enhanced sanitization and disinfection efforts, and physical distancing, and we are committed to continually improving our protocols to further prevent the spread of this virus,” Byrdsong added. 

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Twitter: @isabellesarraf

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