Over 1% of Pennsylvanian Casino Workforce Affected by COVID-19
Since reopening in July, 251 positive COVID-19 cases were recorded among brick and mortar casino workers in Atlantic City, more than 60% of which surfaced in October. Pennsylvanian casinos reported 108 positive cases since reopening in early June, and the numbers swiftly climbed from 14 in September to over 44 in October.
The Pennsylvanian Story So Far
Figures released by the Pennsylvanian Gaming Control Board show over 1% of the state’s casino workforce has tested positive for the coronavirus since reopening in June. While 28 cases surfaced from Rivers Pittsburgh, 25 more were recorded at the Parx in Bensalem.
According to Carrie Nork Minelli, Director of Advertising and Public Relations at the Parx, “Since reopening, over 1.4 million people have visited the property. None of the 25 workers affected by the virus required hospitalization”.
“There are over 1,900 people working at Parx. As such, over the last four months, the positivity rate is approximately 1.3%, which is way below the average of the state and Bucks County,” Minelli added.
Over 1,360 are employed at Rivers Pittsburgh, which puts the positivity rate right around the 2% mark. According to casino spokesperson Jack Horner “The entire Rivers workforce is practicing the highest safety precautions possible to curb virus transmission in their relentless effort to maintaining a safe work environment.”
“Despite operating in two Pennsylvanian counties with the highest population densities, Rivers employees have so far been able to keep the transmission rates low,” Horner added. COVID-19 infections rose from 14 to 44 within a month in PA, and the state officials say they aren’t aware of what positions the affected employees hold within the organization. Therefore, it’s difficult to contact trace and deduce the source of the infection.
It’s Pretty Much the Same Scenario in Atlantic City
In Atlantic City, over 172 COVID-19 cases were registered among casino and resort chain employees across various levels from administrative staff and executives to housekeepers, bellhops, kitchen workers, and security staff. An additional 79 cases were recorded among workers employed at the various restaurants and bars.
Based on September’s workforce data, a little over 1% of Atlantic City casino workers were COVID-19 positive, and the experts believe the numbers are low compared to initial projections. Additionally, the low figures indicate that the administration and staff are committed to following the reopening norms stated by the authorities, and the measures are working as intended.
According to Steve Callender, President of the Casino Association of New Jersey, “Our strict regulatory oversight, protocols, cleaning personnel, security measures, social distancing efforts, and surveillance are working.”
“These are unprecedented times, and the industry has taken exclusive measures to safely welcome thousands of our hardworking staff and patrons while minimizing exposure to the coronavirus,” Callender added.
The Governor’s office recently suggested restrictive efforts if the numbers continue rising. However, concrete efforts are yet to be taken in that direction.