The casino industry has certainly changed in the United States over the past few months. In mid-March, casinos across the nation began shutting down as an outbreak of the coronavirus was taking place. After just a few months of closure, states began to relax their shut down orders and casinos began opening back up. Facilities had to have protocols in place to keep employees and guests safe from the virus. However, outbreaks have still occurred. The Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in North Carolina is the latest to be affected.
Cluster of Cases
This week, health officials in North Carolina reported that five employees of the casino tested positive for the virus. These employees all work together in the table games section. A cluster is defined by several factors including a minimum of five individuals as well as linking cases via the same shift, physical work area, etc.
The employees are now following isolation orders. Those who are symptomatic and tested positive must remain in isolation for at least 10 days after symptoms first appeared. The individuals must also wait 24 hours after their last fever and without using fever reducing medications, plus see an improvement in symptoms like shortness of breath and cough.
Those who are asymptomatic and are not showing signs of the virus but tested positive must isolate for at least 10 days since they took the test. It is important to continue isolation even without symptoms as the individual is still a carrier of the virus.
Health officials are now working to identify anyone who was in close contact with the employees. A form of contract tracing is used to alert anyone who may have been in contact with an infected person to ensure they do not have the virus and have the potential to infect others.
Harrah’s is committed to the well-being of their employees and guests. They have continued with health and safety protocols to keep the property safe. The company says no other employees or customers have been found to be in close contact with the infected. Employees who test positive have been directed not to come to work and to self-isolate.
A Growing Problem
For months now, the US has been trying to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. In some states, the number of cases have increased so much that stay at home orders have been reissued. In other areas, government officials are trying to mandate mask wearing so the spread of the virus will slow down.
In Nevada, the casinos got back to work in early June, but customers were not wearing masks as expected. Not two weeks after reopening, the governor decided to issue a mask order. Many casinos mandated masks as well, such as MGM Resorts and Caesars, to help slow the spread of the virus.
If outbreaks occur, such as the cluster in North Carolina, some venues may be forced to close for a few days to clean the space. By instituting a mask mandate, it can help to stop such closures from happening.