Philadelphia Casinos to Require Face Masks for Unvaccinated Staff and Guests

The latest city order reimplements the mandatory use of face masks for businesses and institutions, where a COVID-19 pass is not required.

Philadelphia Establishments Reintroduce Face Masks Due to COVID-19 Cases 

Visitors and employees of Philadelphia casinos are once again required to wear face masks while indoors. Due to the rising COVID-19 cases caused by the Delta variant, the City of Philadelphia has reinstated the indoor face mandate at most places. Businesses that require proof of vaccination for all customers and staff are exempt from the rule. 

On Wednesday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) categorized Philadelphia as having a “high” community spread of the virus. “High” transmission is the most severe category and means that there are 100 or more cases per 100,000 people or a positivity rate of 10% or higher. The risk level for the city’s four suburban Pennsylvania counties remains categorized as “substantial.” 

The latest order became effective on August 12, and introduces the use of face masks indoors at businesses and institutions where employees and guests might enter without a COVID-19 pass. In addition, Philadelphia is urging employees to get the COVID-19 shot as soon as possible. Otherwise, they will have to wear two face masks in the workplace as of September 1. Nonvaccinated employees will be ordered to wear two masks – a cloth mask covering over a disposable or surgical mask. 

Rivers in a Competitive Disadvantage 

There are five casinos in Philadelphia metropolitan area – Valley Forge Casino Resort, Rivers, Live!, Harrah’s Philadelphia and Parx. However, only two of the establishments are located within the limits of the City of Philadelphia, and, therefore, must comply with city orders. Before January 2021, the City of Philadelphia had only one casino – RiversLive! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia opened on January 19. 

In the middle of March 2020, Pennsylvania’s commercial casinos closed their doors following the order of Gov. Tom Wolf (D) and resumed operations on a regional approach in June. But Rivers remained closed on city orders until July 17, which placed the casino at a disadvantage compared to its competitors from outside the city. 

Rivers was also closed between mid-November and mid-January due to a rise in COVID-19 cases. However, the other commercial casinos in the state were only closed for a few weeks, from December 12 through January 4. 

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