More Casino Mask Mandates as COVID-19 Runs Rampant
As COVID-19 cases increase across the United States, casinos reinstate mask mandates and other restrictions.
Last spring COVID-19 was introduced into the world and heavily affected the casino industry. Venues were unable to offer services for weeks and even months in some cases. Once casinos were open again, mask mandates were in place to protect from further spreading of the virus. Eventually, casinos dropped mask orders and opened at 100%. Unfortunately, we are now experiencing higher COVID-19 positivity rates across the country, and it is causing mandates to be put back in place. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is one area that has been affected along with the entire state of Oregon.
Oregon Casino Closure Plus State Mask Mandate
In Oregon, the Chinook Winds Casino Resort shutdown late last week and will remain closed through August 26. The COVID-19 Delta variant has caused the closure as it spreads at a more rapid rate. The Siletz Tribal Council and senior executives of the Chinook Winds made the decision at the interest of public health and safety.
Officials said that despite the progress that was made to vaccinate the employees of the venue as well as their families and the community, there is an increase in the state and county. This increase has caused the casino to shut down and avoid offering public services to try and slow the spread. The casino, hotel, restaurants, and golf course are all closed. On a positive note, the employees of the casino will continue to receive payment.
As the number of positive cases continue to increase, state officials have decided to bring back a face mask mandate inside public areas. While indoors, everyone must wear a mask until the order is changed. Last week, the Oregon Health Authority reported over 2,300 positive cases and this was a record since the pandemic started.
Philadelphia Casinos Bring Back Mask Mandate
Casinos in Philadelphia now require masks to be worn by employees and guests as local cases are rising. Everyone must wear a mask when inside a casino and this also applies to other venues as mandated by the city. Because the number of positive delta variant cases are increasing, city officials decided to make people wear masks again to try to slow the spread.
In Philadelphia, masks must be worn where proof of vaccination for employees and guests is not required. When businesses require proof, then the mask order does not apply. City employees in Philadelphia are being encouraged to choose the vaccination.
There are five casinos in the metro area of Philadelphia. The Valley Forge Casino Resort is the furthest away while there is also a Harrah’s, Parx, Rivers, and Live! venue. Only the Rivers and Live! casino fall within the city limits where the order is valid. Last year, the Rivers Casino was the only operating venue in Philly, but then Live! opened in January of this year.
The people of Philadelphia are not happy with the mandate, and this may affect the business of the two casinos within the city limits. If players are not willing to wear a mask, they won’t visit, which will cut down on the revenues earned.
Mask wearing has become politicized in the United States and split down the middle, with some people feeling masks are an infringement of civil rights while others feel it is our duty to protect each other and wear the mask.
If the case counts continue to rise in Philadelphia as well as Oregon and other states, such orders will remain in place and be re-implanted as needed. Hopefully, it does not come down to another closure, but you never know. If record COVID-19 positive numbers are reached, then it could be that venues are forced to shut down due to an outbreak or lack of business.