Detroit Casino Offering Hotel Rooms for COVID-19 First Responders

Across the United States, health care workers are putting their lives on the line in order to provide care to patients who test positive for the coronavirus or COVID-19. These people are being infected themselves as the nation lacks personal protective equipment as well as other necessary items to fight the infection. As casinos have been shut down across nation due to the outbreak, operators are trying to help in any way they can. In Detroit, the Greektown Casino-Hotel has opened their hotel doors to the first responders in the areas who are working during the outbreak.

Helping during the Crisis

The Greektown Casino was shut down temporarily earlier this month after Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer closed non-essential businesses. A form of lockdown has been put in place to try and stop the spread of the disease in the state. Michigan has been one of the harder hit states.

The casinos were originally supposed to be shut down through March 31st, but now that date has been extended to April 13th. Greektown will now remain closed to guests and casino goers but they will now be offering their hotel rooms to police officers, emergency medical technicians and firefighters. The goal is to provide a place for first responders to rest instead of going home. The people at the front lines are worried about bringing the virus home to their loved ones.

The casino will open 40 rooms located on two floors with only those who are working during this crisis allowed to stay at the hotel. Each time any guest leaves or enters the facility, they will have their temperature taken.

First responders are allowed to stay at the hotel at no charge. However, they must bring their own food as the hotel has a very limited staff on site. The hotel is only offering clean sheets and towels to the first responders.

No Pay After Today

The Greektown Casino is one of three commercial casinos in the area that has shutdown due to the virus. Each of the properties agreed to pay their employees through the March 31st deadline and since the shutdown has been extended, the employees will not be paid after today.

While the employees will no longer be paid, they can file for unemployment. On the plus side, the benefits for employees have been extended and will be covered through June 30th. Millions of people are applying for unemployment as non-essential businesses are being shut down.

The situation in Detroit is being copied across the US and the world as gaming venues must remain closed due to the quick spread of the virus. There is no clear date as to when things will get back to normal. We know that in the US, President Trump has set a date of April 30th for everyone to continue with social distancing, though this date may be extended in the future depending on what happens over the next few weeks.


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Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.