- Rivers, Live!, and Harrah’s must adhere to the mandate.
- The entire city of Philadelphia is affected by the indoor masking rule.
- Level 2 of precautions requires one week of education for businesses.
Yesterday afternoon, the Philadelphia Public Health Department made an announcement regarding masking in the city. Because the number of COVID-19 cases have increased, the city is now moving to Level 2 of precautions.
All indoor public spaces, including casinos, must wear masks starting on April 18. This week will be an education period for businesses regarding the subject of masking and COVID-19 health.
Masking Up Starting Next Week
By April 18, everyone inside an indoor public area will be required to wear a mask. This includes schools, child care facilities, restaurants, government buildings, etc. For casinos, the Rivers Philadelphia, Live! Casino Philadelphia and Harrah’s will need to adhere to the same protocols.
Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole stated yesterday that the mask mandate will begin next week so that businesses have one week to be educated on what needs to happen to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.
Dr. Bettigole said that if action is not taken now, then it will be too late for many residents. The doctor pointed out the wave of infections the city has seen in the past which resulted in hospital stays and death. During the wintertime outbreak, around 750 residents died due to COVID.
According to health data, the number of cases have increased by over 50% in just 10 days. The goal of the new mask mandate is to slow the spread. Residents are asked to alert officials if any business is not complying with the mandate.
How Will Casinos Fare?
It has been quite some time since a mask mandate was in place anywhere in the United States, including Philadelphia. The COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020 and since that time, the rules and regulations have changed continuously based on the spread or activity of the virus.
Now, the three big casinos in Philadelphia must require patrons and employees to wear masks. Will this harm the day-to-day operations of the facilities? A year ago, maybe. Today, maybe not so much. While most people do not want to wear a mask, it seems that the public have accepted it as a new normal.
We should see people complying without issue and still visit the casinos as they normally would. Local traffic should stay the same but out of towners might second guess traveling to Philadelphia due to the increase in COVID-19 spread. Travelers may opt to go to another state or area of Pennsylvania that offers casino gaming instead to avoid possibly catching the virus.
It will be interesting to see how the city handles the mask mandate and if this is a sign that other cities may update mask wearing in the future due to COVID-19 concerns. With the summer months approaching and schools being out of session soon, it will hopefully help to lessen any potential spread of the virus.