A handful of Atlantic City casinos are hosting COVID-19 vaccination clinics as New Jersey rolls back pandemic rules and the busy summer season begins.
Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City and Resorts Casino Hotel will hold a pop-up COVID-19 clinic Saturday, June 5. Golden Nugget Atlantic City and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will follow suit on Sunday, June 6.
Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino, Caesars Atlantic City, Tropicana Atlantic City, and Ocean Casino Resort did so last weekend.
The clinics are open to employees and their families, as well as hotel guests and local residents.
“The Atlantic City casino industry remains focused on the health and safety of its employees, guests and fellow residents. These pop-up vaccination clinics provide our employees and their families another opportunity to get vaccinated on site at our casino properties,” Terry Glebocki, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey and CEO of Ocean, said in a prepared statement Monday.
Mask mandate disappears as of Memorial Day weekend
NJ Gov. Phil Murphy removed indoor capacity caps last week. On Monday, Murphy said people will no longer be required to wear a mask inside beginning Friday, May 28.
With Memorial Day weekend — the unofficial start of summer at the Jersey Shore — approaching, Atlantic City casinos are ramping up to operate without restrictions for the first time since March 2020.
“This year has been incredibly challenging for our industry, and we are unbelievably grateful for the passion and dedication of our Atlantic City team members, who are the heart of our company,” said Jacqueline Grace, senior vice president & general manager of Tropicana. “Our top priority is the health and safety of our team members, our guests, and their loved ones.”
Atlantic City casinos team up with AtlantiCare
The casinos are working with regional healthcare provider AtlantiCare to provide vaccination sites.
Anyone 12 and over is eligible to receive the free vaccine at the clinic sites. No appointment is necessary.
“We are truly thankful to AtlantiCare, and all of our community’s first responders who have worked tirelessly on the front lines of the pandemic. It’s their hard work that helped us reach this point,” said Joe Lodise, senior vice president & general manager of Caesars Atlantic City.
More than 8.3 million total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in New Jersey, as of Monday morning. A total of 4,081,059 people in NJ have been fully vaccinated.
More info on COVID-19 rules being lifted
NJ is lifting the bulk of its remaining COVID-19 rules this week.
The statewide mask mandate will no longer be enforced. However, businesses can still require patrons and employees to wear them.
NJ is also lifting the requirement for maintaining six feet of social distancing in indoor and outdoor settings. Last, but not least, prohibitions on dance floors and ordering food or drinks while standing at a bar will be removed.
Clear as mud for Atlantic City casinos
There is still some uncertainty about how the situation will unfold inside Atlantic City casinos.
For one, state gaming regulators had to approve industry-wide reopening protocols when the casinos resumed business last summer. Mask mandates, table game partitions, social distancing guidelines, and employee temperature screenings were all part of the agreed-upon rules for reopening.
Secondly, the casinos are not staffed to handle immediate changes. Worker shortages in housekeeping, restaurants/bars, and security departments have hampered Atlantic City casinos for weeks.