Employees at Casinos Demand Temperature Checks for All Visitors

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With no end in sight to the current COVID-19 pandemic, client-facing employees at major casinos across North America have voiced their concern regarding specific venues not conducting necessary temperature checks for all visitors.

The current coronavirus pandemic has shown how easy it is for a viral infection to be transmitted from one person to the other.  Even with the help of protective gear like masks and face visors, the virus seems to be able to wiggle its way in and infect an unsuspecting victim. 

Therefore, everyone needs to undertake the necessary steps and try to reduce the possible chances of infection.  This is even more important for those lines of work that involve direct interaction with clients, like in a casino.

A recent report from Atlantic City indicates that local casino staff have raised concerns over how visitors get screened before they enter a casino.  According to the employees, four of the casinos in the city have not implemented proper temperature checks for guests who are entering the premises.  To rectify the matter, the employees have approached the New Jersey authorities to seek an introduction of compulsory temperature screenings at all casinos.

Noncompliance by Caesars Entertainment

Members of Unite Here union representing casino workers have pointed out that four casinos under the Caesars Entertainment umbrella are not conducting physical temperature and fever tests on clients.  A common symptom of COVID-19 is elevated body temperature, and fever can easily be detected by pointing a portable temperature scanner at a person’s forehead before they enter the premises.

This has resulted in a great deal of concern for employees, especially since other casinos in the area are strictly adhering to safety protocols.  The four Caesars casinos that are currently not checking the temperatures of their patrons are the Tropicana, Harrah’s, Bally’s and Caesar’s.  The remaining four Atlantic City casinos have been adhering to the advised safety protocols and are temperature screening all visitors.

The Unite Here appeal comes after several Atlantic City casino employees tested positive for COVID-19.  While it is unknown where the workers contracted the virus, the likelihood that it was at their place of employment is relatively high.  As a result, the union is demanding stringent safety protocols that include compulsory temperature checks at all the entrances.   

Lack of Clear Safety Protocols

According to the four Caesars casinos, a verbal screening process takes place at each entrance.  This involves asking each visitor about how they feel and whether they have any symptoms of the virus.  Nonetheless, the unions remain adamant that even these verbal screenings are not conducted all the time and with all the visitors.  According to the information obtained by the union, there were 180 instances recorded where the security staff had not verbally screened the guests.   

In addition to failing to adhere to proper entry screenings, it was also documented that casino hotel rooms have not been cleaned thoroughly on 75 occasions.  According to employees at Harrah’s, the rooms are not being cleaned daily as they should, which becomes an issue when there is such high traffic of people each day within an enclosed environment.

On the other hand, Caesars regional president, Steve Callender, has refuted some of the claims laid out by the unions.   “Caesars Entertainment’s health and safety plan fully complies with all governmental directives,” says Callender. “In addition to our cleaning protocols and requirements that apply to our team members, all guests must pass a screening process before entering our properties and must wear face masks in compliance with the governor’s orders.”

Ultimately, the onus remains on each employee and organisation to maintain a safe working environment through which the spread of the coronavirus is minimised.  Any safety concerns need to be brought to the attention of the management and addressed as soon as possible, to prevent infection.  Should no action be taken, it is advised to seek the advice of local authorities in how best to deal with the situation.