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MGM, Caesars, Boyd to begin testing employees for coronavirus Thursday

Updated May 19, 2020 - 3:36 pm

Three major casino companies will begin testing their Las Vegas employees Thursday for COVID-19 before they return to work.

MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment and Boyd Gaming are the latest casino companies to announce an employee testing program as resorts prepare to reopen, according to a joint statement Tuesday. The three are partnering with University Medical Center to administer tests at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Employees called back to work are to schedule a testing appointment, the statement said. Results should come within 48 hours, and positive tests will be sent to employees and the Southern Nevada Health District, which will conduct contact tracing.

“The ability to safely reopen our properties has been our singular focus over the past several weeks,” MGM acting CEO and President Bill Hornbuckle said.

Whether or not the test is mandatory may depend on where someone works.

They’re voluntary for furloughed MGM employees and will be offered to employees as they’re called back to work at their respective properties, beginning with Bellagio and New York-New-York, according to the company. They are free to employees, who will be monitored every day for possible signs of the coronavirus regardless of whether they took the COVID-19 test, the company said.

Boyd is mandating testing for its Nevada employees and covering the full costs, spokesman David Strow said. The testing is only for employees and not their families, though Strow added there are other testing resources available, including a site the company is hosting at The Orleans.

MGM, Boyd and Caesars indicated those who test positive for the coronavirus would not be working while they had it.

In a statement, Caesars CEO Tony Rodio said all employees would complete a prescreening questionnaire “and the results would determine the need for a COVID-19 test before returning to work.”

Caesars spokesman Rich Broome added that the test would determine an employee’s current COVID-19 status and would occur as they’re called back to work.

Additionally, he said, “we will know if the employee test positive.”

The county hospital and the Culinary Health Fund will collect up to 4,000 samples a day for testing, the statement said. Hospital CEO Mason VanHouweling said the medical center now has the ability to run 10,000 COVID-19 tests per day.

Geoconda Argüello-Kline, secretary-treasurer of Culinary Local 226, said the testing will ensure members are safe when they return to work.

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.

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