Across the United States, citizens are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to be vaccinated for COVID-19. In Pennsylvania, the process has been slow going and casino employees have yet to be added to the list of those eligible for vaccination. The state consists of 13 land-based casinos and a single satellite casino. These operators are among the largest in the state. In groups 1A, 1B, and 1C, employees of casinos or hotel staff are not included for vaccination. Thankfully, the state’s Department of Health recently announced that casino employees along with everyone else in the state will be able to be vaccinated by April 19.
Ramping Up the Process
If casino employees fit into the earlier categories, they could go ahead and be vaccinated. For relatively healthy people, the process does not begin until April 19. On that date, everyone can schedule an appointment for the COVID-19 shot.
The state is working to increase its ability to offer the vaccination. Right now, the pace is set at around 83,000 shots a day. The goal is to open the process up to everyone and be able to easily vaccinate more people on a daily basis.
Casinos are staying pretty quiet about the process. For the most part, operators are providing information on how to be vaccinated and encouraging staff members to take the shot. Valley Forge has provided info to its employees, but others are staying quiet. According to PlayPennsylvania, Live! Casino Philadelphia and Harrah’s Casino Philadelphia have not spoken to employees at all about vaccinations.
With employees fully vaccinated, it takes some pressure off the casino's ability to stay open and provide services to guests. Because the virus was so transmissible, an outbreak could easily take place among employees of a casino facility. With the vaccination, employees and the employer do not have to worry about such issues and can focus on the recovery process and getting back to 100% operations.
MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment Take a Different Approach
In Nevada, operators MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment are taking a different approach. As casino employees became eligible for the vaccination earlier this month, the operators decided to expedite the vaccination process by offering it to employees in the state.
Each operator has set up areas where the shot will be administered. Mandalay Bay’s convention center is currently set up to take MGM Resorts employees in for vaccinations. The company sees the process as the best way to help end the pandemic and promote accelerated growth for the recovery of the local economy.
Caesars has decided to use the Rio All-Suites hotel for vaccinations and started taking appointments today. The goal is to administer at least 10,000 vaccinations this month. The company has partnered with Albertsons to provide 2,000 doses each day.
President Joe Biden has set a goal to see every individual in the United States that wants to be vaccinated, have the ability to do so by May. This is a huge effort and if it can happen, industries like the casino and hospitality sector that were hit so hard by the virus will be able to see a good recovery effort.