- Concern over growing numbers in casino workers testing positive at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
- The company announced two positive cases the past week but employees claim more than 15 workers are positive
- Nevada hotel-casinos are not mandated to release the figures of the confirmed cases
- The company is adamant that strict guidelines to curb any spread of the virus are being adhered to
- Workers claim there is no transparency shown by the company and most of them are ‘terrified’
Employees of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas have raised concerns over the growing number of COVID-19 related cases among the casino floor workers. The company’s response has left them frustrated.
After its reopening on June 4, the property announced two positive cases last week but according to the workers, the spread is far worse. Some of the workers told the Review-Journal that more than 15 workers had tested positive since the reopening.
Company ‘hiding’ figures
As of Monday, a total of nine workers at the property including six employees had been interviewed by the Review-Journal. In the interview, they raised concerns over their health and safety. They remain anonymous for their job security.
One of the Cosmopolitan dealers termed the company’s response as ‘not right’ considering many, according to the dealer, had been confirmed as positive but the company was mum about it.
Nevada hotel-casinos are not mandated to release the figures of the positive confirmed cases but instead, they are required to contact the SNHD (Southern Nevada Health District) in the case of discovering a positive case. The SNHD, on the other hand, is not mandated to share any further information regarding the positive cases.
Speaking to Review-Journal on Wednesday, the company stated that ‘a small number of COVID-19 instances’ had been addressed but did not disclose further details on the cases for the ‘privacy of the guests and employees.’
Company ‘following’ the guidelines set
No official number of those tested positive was revealed by the company but The Cosmopolitan stated that every positive case was reported to the SNHD. It remained adamant that all the guidelines such as contact tracing, quarantining, immediate testing, and sanitation were being followed.
The safety protocols by the company require immediate testing and self-quarantining to persons experiencing flu-like symptoms or persons potentially exposed to COVID-19. This goes on until a negative diagnosis is received.
In a statement released by the company, they note that with the reopening, there was bound to have some COVID-19 suspected or confirmed cases. The statement goes on to claim that the company is well prepared to deal with the cases thanks to the health guidelines provided by the government.
Among the safety standards the company has set for the employees include the daily screening of temperature, daily self-screening questionnaire, and wearing of masks. Those returning from furlough are required to take a COVID-19 test while those who do not feel comfortable with resuming work can stay at home with no disciplinary action expected. The company insisted that the safety and security of the employees and guests remained a ‘top priority.’
However, speaking to Review-Journal, a bunch of workers stated that they were afraid to go to work since it would be ‘risking their lives.’
They claim the company has not been efficiently communicating and aside from a text message that claimed workers who feel ill ‘must stay home’, no other message has been shared regarding the rising cases.
An email seen by the Review-Journal was sent to select employees confirming a positive case in one of the departments. According to the email, those that were exposed and met ‘specified contract tracing guidelines’ would be ‘notified and sent for testing immediately.’
An email sent to shift workers asked them to stay at home and have themselves tested for COVID-19. They were advised to self-isolate for three days and have a test on the fourth day. They would then stay at home while waiting for results. If confirmed negative, the worker would be called back to work but would have other tests carried out and symptoms checked daily.
Many workers see the effort as too little, too late. 16 shift-workers, according to the pit supervisor, are already positive of COVID-19 with two others from different departments also confirmed positive. The supervisor describes the current situation as ‘snowballing’ with workers getting terrified.
Calls for transparency
A worker who turned positive claims that his new spread by ‘word of mouth’ to other workers before an official communication was later done. He calls for transparency in the company to protect the co-workers.
Many of the workers believe the spread was effected better in their break room where they interacted with no social distancing. According to the pit supervisor, no seats were taken out and workers ignored other guidelines such as wearing masks.
While it may be ‘terrifying’ to go back to work, some of the workers claim it is not an option since there are ‘no jobs’ available. They called for the company to take their safety seriously.