The MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts will finally re-open doors Monday, encouraging news for the casino’s patrons and employees. Well, not all employees, as roughly two-thirds of them will have to remain on the sidelines, at least for now, the casino hopes.
The three casinos in Massachusetts that have been closed to comply with state and federal orders related to the efforts to contain the spread of the virus infection, have finally received the green light to re-open, as St.Gov. Charlie Baker announced Thursday the state is ready to move to Phase 3 of the reopening plans, but not until Monday, July 13.
Restricted Capacity Leaves Employees on the Sidelines
Due to the restrictions in operating capacity down to a third from pre-closure levels, MGM Springfield casino will resume operations with around 600 employees. According to the quarterly report from the casino presented to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in February, MGM Springfield has on its payroll 1,479 full-time employees and 525 part-time workers.
Casino officials pointed out the operator had been in touch with its team members throughout the whole period of closure, with the strong intent to bring back as many as possible, while complying with capacity restrictions from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Besides limiting the capacity of the gaming facilities, some of the venues, including bars and nightclubs will not be allowed to reopen until Phase 4. At MGM Springfield, dining options will also be limited initially, to Tap Sports Bar, South End Market and Costa’s pizza counter.
For the venues that will re-open, guidelines include guests and employees to wear a mask that covers the mouth and nose all the time, even between sips of drinks, as well as to wash their hands frequently. Physical distancing between guests should be maintained, with casino patrons advised to limit groups to no more than 6 people. Beverages will only be served when the guests are seated while actively playing or in restaurants, and moving around the casino floor with a drink will not be allowed.
Frequent Cleaning and Sanitizing
The only department that will be fully deployed will be the one that will make sure the casino is frequently sanitized, with cleaners moving around all the time to ensure surfaces are wiped down and cleaned properly. Workers in the departments have already gone through rigorous training and protocols to meet the standards of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCs).
Besides each member of the cleaning and sanitizing staff being put to extensive multi-layered training on the protocols and the MGM’s Seven-Point Safety Plan, all other staff has been subjected to between 2 and 4 hours of extra training, depending on the specific department’s procedures.