Rising COVID-19 Cases Worrying the Workforces
Las Vegas wants stronger guidelines, Disney petitions for a delay
A few weeks after Las Vegas reopened and with cases rising, the union that represents hotel and casino staff is warning that the safety procedures don’t do enough to protect the workers.
On Monday, union leaders with the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, held a video conference call to say that Nevada’s health and safety policies don’t go far enough to protect all casino workers. The Gaming Control Board updated their policy last week to require players and spectators of most casino table and card games to wear protective face coverings. Dealers are also required to wear protective face coverings. While the union says this is great for dealers, it doesn’t protect other staff on the casino floor. The union is pushing the board to make masks mandatory in all public places in the casino. They also want properties to check the temperature of all guests and patrons; require a deep-cleaning of guest rooms daily; mandate the testing of all employees for COVID-19 before they return to work, and test regularly afterward; enforce social distancing, and provide appropriate personal protective equipment to workers.
While some casinos have instituted some of these policies, without a state regulation there is not a uniform standard that the casinos are abiding by.
Las Vegas isn’t the only place where workers are concerned that opening up may put them at risk. At Disney World in Orlando Florida, more than 7,000 people have signed a petition urging Disney and Florida to delay the reopening of the park. As UCOMM previously reported, Disney World is currently slated to reopen its various parks the week of July 11th.
Both Nevada and Florida have seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases, with Florida hitting a new high of over 4,000 cases on Tuesday, while Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, hit a new high on June 16th with 371 cases. Over the last two weeks, 27 states have seen an increase in cases, with Florida and Texas being warned that they are the new epicenter of the outbreak. In response New York, a state that has so far avoided an increase in cases, issued a travel advisory for people coming from states with high infection rates. The advisory, done in conjunction with New Jersey and Connecticut, asks anyone who recently traveled from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington to quarantine for 14 days after arrival. In announcing the plan, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo told travelers that travel to the NYC metro area is not banned, which he described as a blockade, but they will be asked to stay in their residences or hotels for 14 days under the penalty of fines or arrest.
If the economy expects to stay open with cases swelling, places like Las Vegas and Florida will need to institute better safety procedures to ensure that workers stay safe and that they don’t spread the virus. Otherwise, we will be headed towards a second shutdown and many more lives lost.