Published on January 1, 2021 9:50 am
Update on January 1, 2021 9:50 am
About a week into December 2020, authorities in the Keystone State ordered a three-week shutdown of all non-essential businesses amid a worrying surge in cases of COVID-19 infections. That state-mandated shutdown is coming to an end and it seems some of those businesses will be able to reopen their doors.
On Wednesday Pennsylvania state Governor Tom Wolf and Dr. Rachel Levine, the state’s Secretary of Health announced that they had no intentions of extending the temporary restrictions beyond their Monday, January 4 expiration date. This is because, thankfully, the number of new coronavirus cases declined significantly within the shutdown period.
“Our mitigation efforts over the past several weeks are working, and I thank everyone who abided by the restrictions put in place to protect us. Every time we make a small decision to avoid risk – or take steps to make our actions a little bit less risky – we are helping to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.”
Pennsylvania’s Gov. Tom Wolf.
Now, only 12 of the state’s 13 land-based casino operations will be able to reopen on Monday. Rivers Philadelphia is the only one that is not going to reopen on that date and this is because it is under special orders to keep its doors closes until January 15, at least. This is because the Philadelphia Department of Public Health declared the casino and some of its facilities as high-risk environments.
It will be up to all the remaining 12 casinos to decide if they are going to reopen. As it stands, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, The Meadows Casino and Racetrack and Live! Casino Pittsburgh are the ones that have confirmed that their doors will be open on Monday.
Even though the mitigation efforts against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic may have worked, the state is still not taking any chances. The casinos that will reopen will thus still need to put in place measures to ensure the safety and health of both the patrons and their employees.
Just like most other social spaces that will be returning to business on Monday, the casinos are to reopen at 50 percent occupancy. Also, they will not be serving any on-premises alcohol unless it is part of a meal. Moreover, other safety protocols including mask-wearing, social distancing, and temperature checks among other things will still apply.