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October 5, 2020

Amid uptick in eastern CT COVID cases, Foxwoods to maintain lower capacity

HBJ Photo | Joe Cooper The Grand Pequot tower at Foxwoods Resorts Casino.

While much of the state prepares for the planned phase three economic reopening this week, Foxwoods Resort Casino says it will continue to operate at 25% capacity -- as it has since June -- in response to the increased COVID-19 infection rate across eastern Connecticut. 

On Oct. 1, the Connecticut Department of Public Health issued a COVID-19 alert for Norwich --  the neighboring town to Foxwoods in Mashantucket -- due to a recent spike in new cases in the previous two weeks. Between September 13 to 26, Norwich recorded at least 84 new COVID-19 cases to raise the daily case rate to 24 per 100,000, the highest rate in the state.
“As the state cautiously continues to reopen under the phase 3 guidelines … we believe it is in the best interest of our team members, guests, Tribal members and communities to maintain our current 25% capacity threshold given the recent uptick of COVID-19 cases in our region,” said Jason Guyot, Foxwoods’ Interim CEO. “Since reopening, we’ve been vigilant in adhering to our aggressive health protocols to control the spread of the virus and to ensure the resort is a safe destination for everyone who walks through our doors.”
Under the guidance of Dr. Setu Vora, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation’s chief medical officer, Foxwoods said it has established extensive safety protocols, including mandatory masks, temperature checks, team member wellness checks and 24/7 sanitation of the resort. 
Foxwoods said it is also finalizing ways to provide regular testing for the workforce in the coming weeks.
Foxwoods’ safety measures include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • 100% universal masking  
  • Social distancing
  • Fresh air ventilation system optimization
  • Easy access to hand sanitizers and enhanced cleaning 
  • Team member training
  • Mandatory temperature checks for all people entering the property
  • Imposed travel restrictions similar to state mandates
  • Mobilized interdisciplinary safety response team to review all aspects of operations
  • Robust case investigation and contact tracing program at work 
  • Dedicated testing program in partnership with local healthcare systems 
  • Soon-to-be launched saliva-based RT-PCR testing protocol

The new protocols have allowed Foxwoods to identify, quarantine and support a limited number of positive employees cases since June, it said. All cases were categorized as community-acquired with no secondary transmission in the workplace.
Any Foxwoods employee who tests positive is required to quarantine for 14 days, along with any other individuals in which they may have come in contact, the casino said. 

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