Mississippi gaming to reopen next week
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s casinos scoured safety guidelines and prepared Saturday to put them in place before the businesses reopen doors to gamblers on Thursday.
The Mississippi Gaming Commission this week released the guidelines for gaming operations to resume. Among the new rules, properties are limited to 50% occupancy and guests must be screened with questions about their health before they’re allowed entry. Any answer of “yes” would prohibit them from going inside.
During the screening, guests also will be asked to use hand sanitizer and encouraged to wear a mask — provided by the casino — while on the property.
At gaming tables, a three-player limit will be required and the rails and seats sanitized after each person leaves. Slot machines will be required to be at least six-feet apart and every machine must be sanitized at least every four hours. In addition, staff will be screened at the beginning of their shift and must report any symptoms of COVID-19 to their supervisor.
The Mississippi Department of Health reported 17 new deaths and 322 additional cases of the coronavirus Saturday, bringing the state total to 11,123 cases with 510 deaths.
Hinds County, with the largest population in the state, has the highest number of cases of COVID-19 with 768 confirmed cases. Issaquena County remains the only Mississippi county without confirmed cases.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.
Meanwhile, Gov. Tate Reeves spent Saturday morning reading the names of thousands of graduating seniors who missed a traditional graduation because of the global pandemic.
“They deserve a blessing right now,” Reeves said in a tweet Saturday. “Working to get through the nearly 10,000 submitted.”
Reeves said he wanted to host the virtual graduation ceremony because the graduates have “worked hard for years” and have “accomplished great things.”
“They deserve every minute of celebration and to be recognized for their achievement,” he continued.
“I want to do what I can to brighten their day and help them celebrate,” he said.