A Las Vegas casino workers union reported 22 coronavirus related deaths and 352 hospitalizations in Las Vegas since March. The numbers include casino workers and family members.
Call for Safer Casinos
The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 represents 60,000 casino workers and resort hospitality staff in Las Vegas and Reno. They have already sued casinos for inadequate worker protection, and now they’re appealing directly to Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak for a safer work environment for casino workers.
The Union is asking for better safety protocols to be enforced in casinos, including daily cleaning of hotel guest rooms, enforcement of social distancing and mask rules, and mandatory testing of all casino employees. They also want regular testing for coronavirus.
Nevada gaming regulators require casinos which reopened after lockdown to submit concrete safety protocols, which most of them did. However, the safety measures vary with each casino, and some are laxer with the mask rules than others. But after a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases in Nevada, Gov. Sisolak made masks mandatory in all casinos.
Despite the mask law, some scofflaws refuse to wear masks, preferring ‘personal freedom’ over public health and safety. A man was arrested for refusing to wear his mask in a casino and was led out in handcuffs when he refused to leave the premises.
Lack of Testing
The Nevada Department of Health reported nearly 1,200 additional cases of COVID-19, raising the statewide total to nearly 35,000. The total death toll in Nevada alone is 646. The Dept. of Health believes the total number of infected people to be much higher, since most people have not been tested, and the virus can be carried in people without symptoms, adding to the infection rate.
The casino union wants state legislation requiring better safety measures and stronger enforcement of the ones already in place. The U.S. has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world, currently at 3.83 million, with 143,000 deaths.
Most coronavirus cases result in mild or moderate symptoms like cough and fever which last for a few weeks. Most COVID-19 deaths have involved patients with pre-existing health conditions. Elderly patients with lower immunity are also at greater risk.
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