Rivers Philadelphia Shuts Down Till 2021 as Part of the Government’s Safer at Home Initiative

Rivers Casino Philadelphia is now closed until January 1, 2021, as a result of numerous new regulations enforced in the wake of rising COVID-19 infections in Pennsylvania. According to a Press Release, casinos must remain shut for the prescribed duration as they fall under the “businesses and activities that aren’t allowed” category under the Government’s new Safer at Home initiative.

Rivers is the only casino in the Philadelphia region where the ban is currently enforced. Other businesses affected by the decision include The South Philadelphia Race and Sportsbook. NFL fans might also have to miss out on their favorite games at the Lincoln Financial Field since outdoor gatherings have been limited to 2,000 people.

What’s the Official Stand?

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney in an official statement confirmed the new regulations while pointing at the rising COVID-19 infection curve, which jumped over 700% within the last two months. In fact, the average number of infections reported last week was far greater than the figures posted during the worst phase in April. Philadelphia alone saw over 2,564 new coronavirus cases being reported along with eight deaths in a single day.

Rivers Casino remained shut for over four months when the pandemic hit in March and reopened on July 17. Thus, marking the longest closure of any Pennsylvanian casino due to the pandemic.

Casinos aren’t the only business to be hit hard by the closure. Theatres, cinemas, performance spaces, bowling alleys, gaming arenas, arcades, libraries, museums, and other recreational areas for community gatherings, including schools, gyms, and indoor exercising classes were also instructed to remain shut till the end of the year.

Moreover, all educational institutions, including high schools and colleges have been instructed to move their curriculum online except for clinical institutions for the students in the health fraternity. Exercise groups and outdoor classes shall stay open while takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining are permitted to continue.

When asked to comment on the drastic measures taken by the authorities, Dr. Tom Farley, the Philadelphia Health Commissioner said, “We may be tired of COVID-19, but it isn’t surely tired of us yet”. The state has also issued new guidelines on hosting and attending events and gatherings in addition to changes in the capacity limit and similar restrictions for businesses and activities that are allowed to continue. The operators are required to follow a checklist formulated by the Department of Public Health.

COVID-19 Concerns

Harrah’s and Parx, the other two renowned Pennsylvanian casinos are currently on high-alert as they too could soon follow Rivers Casino’s fate. Pennsylvanian Governor Tom Wolf instructed physical casinos to shut down in March while the businesses slowly began reopening in June. However, casinos in Philadelphia were the last to open. New cases rose from 1,000 per day during March to 3,000 – 4,000 in October and November. The highest number so far is 5,8943 in 24-hours and was recorded last month.

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