Mandatory wearing of masks for visitors ordered by the Mississippi Gaming Commission following recent spikes in COVID-19 positive cases in the state.
Face Masks Mandatory When Visiting Casinos
Earlier this week, the Mississippi Gaming Commission has announced that all visitors of casinos must wear masks. According to the announcement, the restrictions are already into effect from July 3, 2020. According to the Gaming Commission’s statement, the face masks measure was introduced based on guidance from the State Health Officer. By introducing mandatory face masks, the state will be ultimately looking to reduce the spread of COVID-19. With that being said, all people visiting indoor public areas within casino premises must mandatorily wear a mask which covers their face and nose.
Exception of the rule for wearing a mask is only allowed while visitors are drinking, eating or if they need to be identified by casino employees. Casino visitors not wearing a mask will be kindly asked to follow the new requirements. In the event that a visitor disregards the rules, they will be asked to leave the premises. The new order is going to affect all 12 casinos in the Magnolia State.
COVID-19 Cases Increase in the State
Prior to releasing the order, some 871 new positive COVID-19 cases were reported in the state. Of that total, 81 cases were on the state’s coast. With that being said, the total number of recorded positive COVID-19 cases in the state is 30,900. While this number sounds quite a lot, Mississippi is still far from top of the chart where New York is placed with more than 420,000 reported COVID-19 cases.
Besides the wearing of masks becoming mandatory, both visitors and employees will have their temperature checked prior to entry. Casino operators will have to continue following other health and safety protocols such as social distancing. In addition, enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols are in place for all casino premises. Frequently touched surfaces, high traffic areas and gaming equipment must be regularly sanitized.
MGHA Says All Necessary Precautions Will Be Taken to Reduce Spread of COVID-19
According to Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association (MGHA) executive director, Larry Gregory, the operators in the state are aware of the ultimate goal. The goal is to protect the health and safety of both employees and guests, he says. Employees who do not feel well will have to stay at home and not report to work. In the event that an employee has fever or other COVID-19 symptoms, they must get tested.
Gregory continued by saying: “If they test positive for COVID-19, we will ensure all employees that have been in close contact will be tested.” In conclusion, Gregory pointed out that MGHA speaks out for all casino operators in the state and assured that every precaution will be taken to ensure safe operations.
Elsewhere in the US, casinos and other entertainment venues were ordered to close in Miami-Dade County in Florida. Due to a recent spike in positive COVID-19 patients, the mayor ordered to close those venues but also introduced a 10 PM curfew. The measures were in effect from July 3 but a final date was not set at this point.