Six California Cardrooms Close, Worker Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Posted on: March 15, 2020, 09:33h. 

Last updated on: March 16, 2020, 09:08h.

Six California cardrooms shut their doors temporarily this weekend after a worker at one of them, the Commerce Hotel & Casino, tested positive for COVID-19.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, is curbing public gatherings of over 250 people in the state and is encouraging social distancing. That message led to the closing of several state cardrooms. (Image: Los Angeles Times)

The Commerce planned to close even before news of the sick employee was announced. It plans to reopen on March 29.

Now, Commerce staff are “identifying and informing any employees who may have come in contact with this employee” about the test results, venue spokesman Eric Rose told NBCLA TV.

The infected employee is reportedly getting appropriate medical treatment this weekend. The worker has also self-quarantined, KCAL TV said

Casino cage cashiers at the Commerce will be open between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. meet players’ continuing needs.

Beyond Commerce, three other card rooms closing include the Gardens Casino in Hawaiian Gardens, Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, and Hollywood Park Casino in Inglewood.

The four cardrooms in total have some 8,000 workers. More than 20,000 players in total are typically found in the cardrooms each day, the venues said in an online statement.

Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco, recommended no gatherings in the state of more than 250 people. He also backed “social distancing” of six feet between people when in public.

In light of the Governor’s directive, as well as the nature of this unprecedented threat to public health, the casinos will close operations beginning this weekend,” the four card rooms said in their recent statement. “This closure will be temporary and all plan to re-open as soon as possible based upon the best available information.”

“We believe that every business should put public health and the safety of people above profits …,” the venues added.

Also, two San Jose cardrooms, Casino M8trix and Bay 101 Casino, also closed. Bay 101 will be closed through at least April 4.

Tribal Casinos Close in California, Too

Pechanga Casino and San Manuel Casino, two of California’s largest tribal casinos, are closing through the end of this month because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Pechanga, which is operated by the tribal band of the same name, is in Temecula, while San Manuel is in Highland. Both cities are in Riverside County, east of Los Angeles.

San Manuel is operated by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. A dozen residents of the county are currently receiving treatment for COVID-19.

On Saturday, Los Angeles County health officials reported 12 newly confirmed cases of coronavirus. The total number of cases in the county was 54 as of Saturday. There were 288 total cases in California as of late Saturday.

More LAX Screeners in Self-Quarantine

Meanwhile, at the Los Angeles International Airport, there appears to be a drop in the number of passengers going through the terminal, KCAL reported. The lower number is tied to banned flights and airlines voluntarily canceling many flights, as many American cancel travel plans.

Earlier this month, two medical screeners at LAX tested positive for coronavirus, health officials said. More now are in self-quarantine.

The news is of concern to passengers heading to McCarran International Airport, because many non-direct flights to Las Vegas first land at LAX before passengers board a second flight to McCarran.