After shutting down in mid-March due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlantic City casinos waited until early July to reopen. Since that time, cases of the virus have popped up among employees of the gaming facilities. October was a particularly worrisome month. Since reopening, 251 cases have been reported regarding employees. Of that number, over 60% of the cases occurred in October.
Recent COVID-19 Data
According to reports, data obtained via the Open Public Records Act show that 172 cases occurred in Atlantic City via employees. These cases involved employees working for a casino hotel. The gaming regulators of the state were made aware of these cases. An additional 79 individuals tested positive and work within the bars and restaurants of the city.
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Harrah’s Resort had the most cases with 34 and 36 respectively. The Borgata had 20 while Bally’s reported 19. Ocean Casino Resort reported 18 positive cases and Caesars Atlantic City as well as the Golden Nugget only 13. The Tropicana had 12 while Resorts only seven.
Safety Measures in Place
While the numbers have increased since October, casino executives have pointed out that the low total number of cases among employees shows that health and safety policies at the casinos are working. Casinos have implemented several precautions to help protect employees and guests from the virus.
Plexiglass dividers are in place within the casino as well as in other areas. Personal protective equipment including masks are worn at all times. Additional cleaning and sanitization are also implemented so that the virus does not have the chance to live on surfaces within the venues.
While the casinos are taking the virus seriously, others in New Jersey do not seem to be doing so. Positive cases are on the rise and Governor Phil Murphy has said that he will take action with restrictive measures if the trend continues.
Casinos and indoor dining are already at 25% capacity. Beverage service was allowed to restart in September. These options may be restricted again by the governor if cases continue to increase as they have over the past few weeks in the state as well as in the Atlantic City area.