Foxwoods Reimplements Mask Mandate for Workers Regardless of Vaxx Status

Posted on: August 5, 2021, 10:46h. 

Last updated on: August 5, 2021, 11:30h.

Foxwoods Resort Casino has reimplemented the mandatory wearing of face masks for all workers regardless of their vaccination status.

Foxwoods casino COVID-19 Connecticut
The resort lobby of Foxwoods is seen in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers at the tribal casino are being once again required to wear face masks in response to a coronavirus spike. (Image: AP)

Connecticut is experiencing an extensive rise in new COVID-19 cases because of the delta variant. All eight counties in the state now meet the criteria outlined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be classified as having “substantial” levels of community transmission. 

The federal health agency recommends such areas to reinforce significant mitigation efforts, including people wearing face coverings while indoors. Connecticut’s Department of Public Health says the state is currently tending to 163 hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Given the rapid increases in cases of COVID-19 in Connecticut over the last 14 days due to the spread of the delta variant, the Connecticut Department of Public Health is strongly recommending that ALL CONNECTICUT residents over aged two years, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, return to wearing masks when in indoor public spaces,” Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement.

Despite the governor’s plea, the state government isn’t going so far as to require all individuals to don a face mask while inside a public space. But some businesses are taking a proactive stance.

Not Out of the Woods

Foxwoods Resort Casino says effective immediately, its thousands of employees who tend to the complex daily must wear a face mask while indoors on the job. The workplace mandate is for all workers regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Foxwoods President and CEO Jason Guyot told the Norwich Bulletin that more than 75 percent of the casino’s employees are fully vaccinated. But with vaccinated people still able to carry and spread the coronavirus, Foxwoods is putting masks back on.

However, fully vaccinated guests are not required to don a face covering. 

We still request non-vaccinated guests wear facial coverings for their own safety,” Guyot explained. “We’ll continue to monitor and adjust our safety guidelines as needed to ensure a safe environment for all.”

Foxwoods is the latest casino to reimplement face masks for workers. Nevada has ordered all casino employees to have protective face coverings on while inside. Several casinos in California, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Iowa have also reinstituted face masks for personnel.

Mohegan Sun Status

Mohegan Sun, the other tribal casino in Connecticut, is holding off on placing masks back on its indoor workers. Though less than 10 miles apart, Mohegan Sun says its fully vaccinated employees can perform their job functions mask-less. 

As is the case at Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun urges non-vaccinated guests to wear face covers. The casino also requires its unvaccinated workers to wear masks. To work without one, the Mohegan Sun team member must show proof of vaccination to the resort’s human resources department.

Both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun share 25 percent of their gross gaming revenue from slot machines with the state. 

In June, the most recently reported state, Foxwoods won $29.4 million from slots gamblers. That’s down from $32.7 million in May, and $33.6 million in June of 2020. Mohegan Sun’s slot total was $40.9 million, down from $44.9 million in May and $45.5 million in June 2020.