Mississippi Gulf Coast casinos are amid the latest gaming resorts to re-impose the forced wearing of facial coverings in the United States.
The coronavirus delta variant is spreading all over Mississippi. The state’s 4-week case wave has risen to 353%, which is the fourth-worst to be reported in the nation, behind Florida (+4, 552%), Louisiana (+403%), and Tennessee (+413%).
To lower the spread of COVID-19, several Mississippi casinos are once again asking their workers, no matter their vaccination status, to wear facial coverings when on work indoors. The decision comes after a similar directive from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a recommendation from Mississippi state health executives.
Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts are requiring their casino employees in Biloxi to adhere to the re-impose mandate.
The firms operate IP Casino Resort and Beau Rivage, respectively. Found north of Biloxi in D’Iberville, Scarlet Pearl is also pushing its employees to wear face masks.
However, health experts are still criticizing the state for its slow vaccination rates for the Coronavirus spikes. Only 34.2 % of the adult population in Mississippi are fully vaccinated. That makes them rank fifth of all the 50 states.
Coronavirus gulf storm
Mississippi Gulf Coast and Biloxi are often on high alert due to intense tropical storms and cyclones during the winter and summer. Currently, however, representatives of the state advise residents to prevent the ongoing COVID-19 tidal surge.
Two days ago, Mississippi announced 1,875 new Coronavirus cases. The delta variant is behind the 90% spread and has increased hospitalizations and patients in intensive care units (ICUs).
Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi Health Officer, said:
“We always get, ‘What medical conditions do they have? Medical conditions are very common. It could be asthma, eczema, or even overweight. Let us try to protect everyone.”
Dobbs further added:
“Let us not be complacent just because we think we don’t have medical conditions, that this doesn’t apply to us.”
Less than a day after pushing all of its indoor casino employees in Las Vegas to wear facial coverings, MGM Resorts said its recommendation at Beau Rivage is reasonable, considering the high number of coronavirus cases in Mississippi.
“Based on the rising COVID-19 cases in Mississippi, MGM Resorts has temporarily updated its employee mask policy,” the Beau Rivage property reported. “All employees, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, will be required to wear masks effective Thursday, July 29.”
The employee facial covering policy also applies to MGM’s Gold Strike Casino in Tunica. MGM further states that though not a must, facial coverings would be available for guests. While the casino does not require vaccination proof, non-vaccinated guests are needed to wear face masks.
Casino vaccination prizes
While Biloxi’s Treasure Bay Casino is not forcing its workers to wear facial coverings, it encourages complete vaccination to its staff. The resort is letting its employees find some luck while holding to their casino positions. Each day, Treasure Bay carries out a draw, where one lucky staff receives up to $500 cash prizes. However, to participate in the draw, a Treasure Bay staff must provide vaccination proof to the resort.
The rise in tourism and sports betting has left several Mississippi resorts short-handed. According to Mississippi Today, the Beau Rivage had almost 100 open positions available as of last week. Early May, the Beau Rivage lead a career fair that produced 120 slots to be filled. Around 300 applicants showed up for interviews. Moreover, some Mississippi casinos have increased wages to lure employees.
A similar case is happening in Arkansas, where one casino lately recruited job applicants on the spot. While another increased wages and paid for new board-game workers to attend dealer school.
Last Updated on by Ryan