The Corp is now requiring all employees to complete weekly COVID-19 tests and symptom surveys.
Before clocking into their shifts and attending large Corp events, employees must submit a symptom screening and personal protective equipment (PPE) survey that The Corp administers through its employee time management system. The Corp’s upper management team announced the policy change Sept. 27, after welcoming approximately 110 new employees, according to Matt Davis (SFS ’22), CEO and president of The Corp. Management finalized the decision after debating whether the company should go beyond Georgetown University’s health and safety guidelines, according to Davis.
As the largest student-run business on campus, The Corp has a responsibility to enforce higher safety standards for its employees than the university’s general guidelines for on-campus community members, according to Davis.
“We have two halves: as a student but also as a service worker,” Davis said in an interview with The Hoya. “You have an added responsibility as a service industry to make sure you are safe but also that the customer, the community you’re serving, is safe. So that’s what led us to have more stringent health and safety guidelines as opposed to Georgetown.”
Georgetown’s current COVID-19 health policy requires fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff to complete a COVID-19 test if randomly selected to or if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people are required to get tested twice per week.
Leadership of The Corp began implementing these stricter health and safety guidelines during the last weeks of September as they welcomed their new hiring class, according to Davis.
The Corp was also prompted to enforce new guidelines because of a rise in COVID-19 cases within the organization and in the Georgetown community, according to Davis.
The week of Sept. 26, 37 people at the main campus, Georgetown University Medical Center and Georgetown University Law Center tested positive for COVID-19. The positivity rate increased .39% from the week of Sept. 19.
The Corp’s new policy is a necessary response to the rise in COVID-19 cases at Georgetown, according to Mallory Kirk (COL ’23), an employee at The Hilltoss, a Corp location in the Healey Family Student Center.
“I think it’s a really smart policy that Georgetown should implement,” Kirk wrote in a message to The Hoya. “It gives me peace of mind and I think it’s necessary considering the recently increasing cases.”
Implementing these new protocols will hopefully prompt a drop in COVID-19 cases among Corp employees, providing a safer experience for both employees and customers and allowing the group to hold large meetings and social gatherings, according to Davis.
Christina Oelhafen (COL ’25), a new hire for Hoya Snaxa, welcomes the weekly testing initiative.
“The weekly COVID tests are definitely necessary considering we interact with so many people inside and outside of our service,” Oelhafen wrote in an email to The Hoya.
The process of adjusting Corp health guidelines began in January 2021, when the group first reopened two locations on campus, The Corp Cafe at Grounded and Vital Vittles, after closing all locations in March 2020. Upon the reopening, The Corp implemented new safety measures, requiring employees to take a health survey before shifts and sanitize locations throughout the day.
The new COVID-19 protocols will likely be a long-term change to The Corp’s procedures, according to Davis, who said the organization wants to maintain the new testing policy to ensure healthy interactions between employees and customers.
“Speaking for The Corp specifically, we are prepared to keep these added safety measures for as long as necessary,” Davis said. “Definitely through the semester, probably through the end of the year, and potentially even into next year. We recognize that we aren’t perfect, and we’re trying to do the best we can, and that takes time to learn and grow.”