Foxwoods Resort Casino Becomes COVID-19 Vaccination Site, Will Administer 1M Doses

Posted on: March 8, 2021, 02:17h. 

Last updated on: March 8, 2021, 02:38h.

The Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Ct., has joined Mohegan Sun in becoming a mass COVID-19 vaccination site. 

Foxwoods vaccination site Connecticut
Medical worker Keona Shepard is seen here last week preparing a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resort Casino became a similar distribution center today. (Image: Associated Press)

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which owns Foxwoods, announced today the opening of its vaccine facility. The clinic is located in the Rainmaker Casino’s valet lobby. 

Only Connecticut residents can schedule appoints for vaccinations. The clinic is capable of administering 600 vaccinations a day and plans to increase to 1,000 per day as doses become more available. Foxwoods says the site expects to dispense more than one million vaccines in total. 

Hartford HealthCare is managing the operations and administering the vaccines at Foxwoods. The site will offer the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. 

Tribe Assists State Response

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation’s relationship with state officials, including Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D), has been strained since the onset of the pandemic. 

Lamont scolded the tribe and Mohegans for opening their casino resorts in early June. Being sovereign enterprises, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are not legally obligated to adhere to state health emergency orders. Most nonessential businesses remained shuttered on the governor’s orders when the massive casino destinations reopened on June 1, 2020. 

Lamont directed the state transportation department to place alert signs on roads near the tribal casinos cautioning potential travelers from visiting the resorts. “DON’T GAMBLE W/COVID,” the highway signs warned. “AVOID LG. INDOOR GATHERINGS.”

Last week, the Mashantucket Pequot Indians were the ones frustrated with Lamont’s actions. The tribe publicly voiced its disappointment in Lamont reaching a deal with the Mohegan Tribe. That pact would allow Mohegan Sun to operate online gaming and retail and mobile sports betting. 

The Mashantucket’s are also close to reaching a similar deal with Lamont to expand their gaming privileges.  They said the governor should have refrained from publicly declaring that a deal had been reached with the Mohegans until he also did so with the Mashantucket. 

Butler called the governor’s actions “extremely disrespectful.” Nonetheless, the tribe is still willing to assist the state in combating the pandemic by offering up part of its facility to serve as a vaccination site. 

Casino Vaccine Sites

Foxwoods is just the latest casino to set aside part of its floor space for vaccine administration. Along with Mohegan Sun, there are numerous casinos across the country that are being utilized as vaccine sites. 

Casino COVID-19 Vaccine Sites

  • Iowa: Prairie Meadows
  • Maryland: Live! Casino Hotel 
  • Nevada: Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, Aquarius Casino
  • New York: Rivers Casino Schenectady, Turning Stone
  • Oregon: Seven Feathers Casino
  • Pennsylvania: Wind Creek Bethlehem
  • Wisconsin: North Star Casino

The CDC says more than 92 million vaccine doses have been put into arms as of 9:00 am ET, March 8. The federal health agency released new guidance today for those who are fully vaccinated. The CDC says such individuals can gather together indoors without wearing masks.