Las Vegas to Begin Testing Casino Employees on Thursday

As casinos in Las Vegas prepare to reopen, several steps are being taken by operators to ensure employee and guest safety. One such measure is testing for the deadly coronavirus. On Thursday, the city will see tens of thousands of employees tested as they prepare to get back to work. Several casino companies along with local tourism, union and hospital officials have worked together to create a cooperative plan for testing.

Test Before Opening

In the United States, the coronavirus has affected over 1.5 million people and resulted in just over 91,000 deaths. Casinos in Las Vegas, like venues across the nation, have been shut down for about two months in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. The coronavirus is highly contagious and can easily spread from one person to the next.

The virus can show signs in those who are affected that are flu-like symptoms. However, there are also those who are asymptomatic. They have the virus but do not show any signs of sickness. People who do not show signs are spreading the virus without knowing.

Because it is highly contagious, operators in Las Vegas are testing their employees before going back to work. Gambling regulators of the state have not provided a date for reopening, but operators are hoping for June 1st. Because of this, they want to be ready to get back to work. Testing of employees will begin with scheduled appointments this week. Employees were notified and will travel to the Las Vegas Convention Center to be tested.

Employees of casinos will not be charged a fee for testing. The goal of this massive testing event is to collect 4,000 samples per day. Results should be provided within a 48-hour time frame. Those who test positive will be sent directed to speak to the Southern Nevada Health District to complete contract tracing.

Tests will be conducted on employees of Boyd Gaming, MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment. The companies announced the testing process via press release along with the Culinary Union Health Fund, the University Medical Center and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Ensuring Health and Safety

With the testing in place, employees can feel somewhat secure in going back to work. Guests will also feel a sense of comfort knowing that employees have been checked for the virus. With testing, those who are found positive will need to quarantine for fourteen days in order to avoid spreading the virus to others. The goal of the testing process is to catch the virus before everyone goes back to work, to ensure those who are affected are able to quarantine and the healthy can start working.

Nevada officials had to work hard to boost testing capacity in order to handle the influx of tests needed for the casino industry. Virus testing is essential when it comes to getting the economy up and running. Officials of the state are hoping that by June, as much as 30,000 tests can be processed each day.

According to Tony Rodio, the chief executive of Caesars, employees of the company will complete a questionnaire to figure out if they need coronavirus testing. Just yesterday, state officials reported that there are over 7,000 positive cases in Nevada and 365 deaths.

Hopefully, the testing phase will run smoothly, and results will be made public. It will be interesting to see just how many employees have the virus and how it will affect the reopening process for casinos in Las Vegas.


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