Mississippi Casinos Not Implementing COVID-19 Protocols Properly

August 26, 2020 John Isaac

Casino employees from Mississippi are not pleased about how they treat the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why they expressed their concerns to the Mississippi Gaming Commission. A report on issues encountered by workers was discussed at a Commission meeting by Unite HERE Local 23, a union representing over 300,000 North American casino employees. During the meeting, some recommendations for changes were made.

Casino Employees Forced to Go to Work While Waiting COVID-19 Test Results

COVID-19 Face Mask and the Flag of Mississippi

The report states that employees who may have been exposed to COVID-19 still had to go to work, those mask rules have not been successfully implemented and that sanitation practices are subordinate. Only % of the 96 workers at Beau Rivage who responded said they thought that the casino was doing enough to protect guests’ and staff’s safety. A total of 70% of Beau Rivage staff and IP Biloxi said that they only “rarely” or “never” followed social distancing recommendations.

One employee of Beau Rivage said casino management doesn’t take the virus threat seriously. Kelli Pizzi, employed in the 24-hour casino kitchen, said management did not consider her being introduced to a co-worker potentially positive to COVID-19 as she had been introduced for 14 days. Pizzi was checked to make sure, and her boss agreed even if the tests were poor, they thought workers only get checked so that they can take leave from work.

She stated that the management said that they would catch many people because they will just be tested so that they can take time off work because they have no attendance.

After being in close touch with a co-worker, Carolyn Ford worked at IP Biloxi for nearly two decades and tested positive for COVID-19. Management wanted her to continue working until she got the results of her test.

Beau Rivage and IP Biloxi Issued Their Statements

The report included ten confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Beau Rivage, and five in IP Biloxi were reported. On the other hand, the casinos’ issues their statements claiming that they are following all the health measures to prevent further spread of the new coronavirus known as COVID-19.

“We continue to practice comprehensive safety measures that meet or exceed the requirements of federal, state and local health officials, including social distancing, frequent sanitation of high-touch surfaces, temperature checks and symptom screening of team members and customers, and mandatory face covering,” – were the words of IP Biloxi.

Additionally, Beau Rivage stated that it provides employees two weeks’ pay if they were tested positive for COVID-19 while they are on quarantine. Moreover, according to them, if someone has been in contact with someone who is tested, positive has to report a negative test before returning to work. Beau Rivage also added that it even has internal marketing campaigns as a reminder to the employees to follow all the rules and it also has its own contact tracing.

For those not familiar, casinos in the United State were closed for a few months due to the lockdown – it was part of the government’s measures to reduce the cases of COVID-19. On the other hand, they recently were opened again with a condition to follow certain health protocols.

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