New York State casino employee tests positive for COVID-19 despite various health safeguards

New York State casino employee tests positive for COVID-19 despite various health safeguards

Rivers Casino & Resort, a commercial gambling & entertainment property in Schenectady, New York, has confirmed that one of its employees have tested positive for Covid-19, the potentially lethal infection that forced Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) to order casinos and other non-essential businesses to close in March.

The unidentified employee who contracted corona virus worked at Rivers Casino & Resort between September 20 and 29. A spokesperson for the casino said other employees as well as patrons who might have come into close contact with the affected employee have already been cautioned. County officials have also been informed about the positive Covid-19 case.

Confirming the positive Covid-19 case, the Schenectady County Public Health Services Department said in a statement that it was contacting people who visited the facility during those days to warn them about their potential exposure to the deadly virus.

After being ordered by Gov. Cuomo to close in March this year, Rivers Casino reopened its doors to general public only last month, when the Democratic governor permitted the state’s twelve gaming properties to resume operations at 25 per cent capacity along with a string of other restrictions to defend the health of team members as well as guests against the deadly virus.

The Democratic governor allowed the gambling and entertainment properties to resume operations only after they agreed to strictly follow health safety measures, such as mandatory face masks for all team members as well as patrons, barriers like plexiglass dividers at gaming tables to ensure separation between the dealer and the players, and proper social distancing. But, the emergence of new cases despite implementation of safety measures points to the persistence of the deadly infection.

The Empire State is home to 4 commercial casinos and 8 video-only entertainment sites like racetracks called racinos. Located near the Mohawk River in Schenectady, a city of around 66,000 residents, Rivers Casino came into existence on February 8, 2017.

In Schenectady County, at least 1,429 people have thus far tested positive for corona virus since the onset of the deadly infection in mid of March this year. Nearly four dozen of those unlucky people have already lost their lives. The county health services website urges people to avoid congregating in group settings, but doesn’t specifically mention casinos or other businesses. Statewide, a whopping 464,582 individuals have tested positive, and 25,519 of them have died.