Employee At Reopened Rivers Casino In Pittsburgh Diagnosed With Covid

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Eight days after it reopened, the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh reported that one of its employees tested positive for COVID-19.

“Rivers Casino Pittsburgh was informed today that a Team Member has tested positive for COVID-19,” the casino said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon.

“Safety protocols put into place for reopening worked as intended, and all notifications are being made in accordance with Pennsylvania Health Department guidelines. In addition to property-wide sanitizing, all Team Members have worn face coverings since the casino reopened on June 9, and Team Members reporting any symptoms or a temperature above 100.4 degrees must get tested before returning to work.”

The casino gave no further information on the employee’s health status or in what area he or she worked.

WPXI-TV reported that it was told by a casino employee that it was a table games dealer who tested positive.

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The station said employees also received an email that states: “Out of an abundance of caution we are conducting a 48-hour look back from the time this Team Member clocked out. In accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Team Members who spent more than 10 minutes within six feet of this individual will be notified.”

Casino was first to reopen in state

The large casino across the river from Pittsburgh’s downtown recalled more than half of its 1,700 workers from COVID-related furlough when it reopened its doors the morning of June 9.

Rivers was the first Pennsylvania casino to reopen since mid-March, once the Wolf administration placed southwestern Pennsylvania in the green phase of a color-coded system designating what business activities are permitted. The Pittsburgh region has seen fewer coronavirus cases than southeastern Pennsylvania, where casinos remain closed indefinitely, including the Rivers Casino Philadelphia.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has set minimum standards that casinos preparing to reopen must meet to ensure the health and safety of guests and employees. The board has also instructed casinos to provide individualized plans showing how they will conform with those guidelines.

Among the requirements, all employees are to wear face coverings (as are guests) and receive COVID-19 safety training. Extensive signage and reminders about health precautions are to be provided in employee areas, and their work breaks are to be staggered to avoid their congregating.

In some cases, casinos are voluntarily implementing temperature checks of everyone entering the property, but the Rivers Casino is not among those.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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Gary Rotstein

Gary is a longtime journalist, having spent three decades covering gambling, state government, and other issues for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, in addition to stints as managing editor of the Bedford (Pa.) Gazette and as a reporter for United Press International and the Middletown (Conn.) Press. Contact Gary at [email protected].

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