COVID-19 Safety Tips at Hollywood Casino & Other Public Places
As the world ramps back up after the unprecedented shutdowns of 2020, our concerns for the safety of our visitors have not disappeared. The COVID-19 pandemic was a reminder to us all that visiting public places such as casinos always carries a risk of exposure to harmful bacteria and dangerous viruses. However, public outings, entertainment, and interacting with our fellow man is a core part of our humanity. Gathering with others is fun, emotionally satisfying, and good for our mental health. The quarantines of 2020 made it clear that very few people prefer isolation to socialization. No one wants to sit at home indefinitely. America wants to get out, have fun, and live life to the fullest. Happily, with a few extra precautions and awareness of others, our visitors can continue to have a great time at Hollywood Casino in Perryville, Maryland, and still protect their health and the health of people around them.
How To Go Out & Have Fun, But Stay Safe & Healthy During The Pandemic
Our employees are taking extraordinary measures to make your visit safer. Hollywood Casino is one of the many vibrant, popular venues that have reopened after the quarantine. We’ve become even more dedicated to making socialization at our casino safe and enjoyable. Our Hollywood Casino employees meticulously follow strict guidelines and new procedures designed to protect the safety and well-being of all of our visitors and our employees. For example, not only do we take the temperature of our as they enter, we are one of the few places that uses thermal cameras throughout our facility to identify anyone with a temperature that exceeds 100.4 degrees.
Our expanded staff works continually to deep clean and sanitize every part of our facility, with particular focus on disinfecting areas that our staff or visitors touch. All of our slot machines, table games, counters, screens, doorknobs, bathrooms, cards, chips, and other high-touch items and areas are cleaned or replaced throughout the day. Employees and visitors must have their temperature checked daily. Everyone must wear face masks or face shields. High-touch spots in our food service areas are cleaned every 30 minutes. Menus and other single-use items are replaced after each use. Accelerated food safety procedures are in effect in all parts of our facilities. And of course, hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the casino.
Who is at Highest Risk?
Around the world, unprecedented government, medical, and pharmaceutical resources have been dedicated to analyzing and treating COVID-19. While new aspects of the coronavirus are being discovered every day, medical professionals have already declared with confidence that some groups of people are more likely to suffer severe health effects or even death if they contract COVID-19. Hollywood Casino urges people in high-risk categories to take extraordinary precautions to protect themselves from contagion, or even self-quarantine until vaccinations are available and more effective treatments are found for the effects of coronavirus.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC),
“COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. People of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.”
The CDC highlights that the following medical conditions put people at high risk for severe illness as a result of COVID-19; cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), a weakened immune system from a solid organ transplant, obesity, serious heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies, sickle cell disease, type 2 diabetes, or mellitus.
The CDC also notes that, based on what is known at this time, people with the following conditions might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19: asthma, cerebrovascular disease that affects the blood vessels and blood supply to the brain, cystic fibrosis, hypertension or high blood pressure, immunocompromised state or weakened immune system from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, use of other immune-weakening medicines, dementia, liver disease, pregnancy, pulmonary fibrosis, smoking, thalassemia, and type 1 diabetes mellitus.
At Hollywood Casino, we care deeply about the health and well-being of all our visitors and employees. We strongly encourage individuals with high risk or increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 to take extraordinary precautions. These precautions include:
- Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds before eating or touching food, before touching your face, before and after using the restroom, after touching any surfaces in a public place, after blowing your nose or coughing, after handling your mask, after changing a diaper, after caring for a sick person, and after touching animals or pets.
- Use plenty of soap and water when you wash your hands and rub vigorously. For most effective protection, start by wetting your hands with clean, running water. Apply soap and create a lather by rubbing your hands together repeatedly. Once you’ve built up a lather, move it around to every part of your hands, including the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Lather up to your wrist (removing watches or bracelets as needed.) Continue to rub, lather, and scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Some people recommend timing yourself by silently humming the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end, twice. Then thoroughly rinse your hand of all soap. Air dry hands or use a clean or sanitized towel to dry.
- If washing with soap and water is not practical, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Note that all hand sanitizing stations at Hollywood Casino provide a sanitizing solution that complies with these guidelines. The use of hand sanitizer is an effective way to kill bacteria, but only if it is used on otherwise clean hands. Hand sanitizer less effective or even ineffective if you have dirt or other matter on your hands. If your hands have a bit of food, grease, or other substances on them, visit one of our clean, sanitized restrooms, and use soap and water to clean your hands thoroughly, and then use hand sanitizer throughout your visit to kill germs. When applying hand sanitizer, use a dime-sized amount of waterless hand sanitizer. Apply it to the palm of one hand and rub hands together until the sanitizer is covering all surfaces of hands and fingers. Rub until the hand sanitizer is completely absorbed.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed or unsanitized hands. While touching our face is a hard habit to break, keeping your hands off your face is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the virus. Brushing hair out of the eyes, scratching the nose, placing hands on the chin or forehead, adjusting eyewear, and scratching ears are things most people do without thinking. However, if someone has even a little bit of the virus on the hand, then bringing that hand into contact with the mouth, nose, or eyes allows the virus to enter the body.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from other people at all times to minimize the chance of transmission.
- Finally, people at high risk of experiencing severe illness or death from coronavirus are strongly encouraged to limit contact with other people as much as possible. High-risk individuals should postpone trips to large public venues such as Hollywood Casino.
The Importance of Social Distancing
Current medical evidence suggests that COVID-19 is spread through direct or close contact with infected people and through indirect contact by touching contaminated objects or surfaces. The virus is present in the mouth and nose secretions of infected people. That means it can be found in tiny amounts of saliva, respiratory secretions, and secretion droplets that are released when a person sneezes, coughs, or even sings. People who are within six feet of an infected person can catch COVID-19 when airborne droplets or droplets on surfaces get into their mouth, nose, or eyes. That’s why it’s so important to stay 6 feet away from other people.
Even with social distancing in place, to avoid contaminations from surfaces, it’s critical to wash hands frequently. While gloves may seem like a good idea, the CDC doesn’t recommend the use of surgical gloves or other types of gloves as a preventative measure, because droplets can live on gloves as well as hands.
Let’s All Work Together to Protect Each Other
According to the CDC,
“Infected people can transmit the virus both when they have symptoms and when they don’t have symptoms. This is why it is important that all people who are infected are identified by testing, isolated, and, depending on the severity of their disease, receive medical care. Even people confirmed to have COVID-19 but who do not have symptoms should be isolated to limit their contact with others. These measures break chains of transmission.”
Any visitor or employee who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has been directly exposed to a person diagnosed with COVID-19 is not allowed in the Hollywood Casino Perryville, Maryland location until they have received medical clearance from their doctor.
However, identifying people with this virus is not always simple or straightforward. Research has shown that people can have the virus without showing any symptoms. These people are called asymptomatic carriers. Asymptomatic carriers can look and feel vigorously healthy. But despite feeling well, these carriers inadvertently spread the virus to others around them. This means that even people who feel healthy, look healthy, show absolutely no symptoms, and have not knowingly been in contact with people diagnosed with COVID-19 may still carry the virus and be able to spread it to other people.
For this reason, we insist that everyone who visits or works at Hollywood Casino wear masks at all times to slow or prevent the unintentional spread of coronavirus. Even though we evaluate every guest and employee and use surveillance equipment to monitor the facility for anyone with a fever, we know that even experienced medical doctors cannot identify an asymptomatic carrier without lab tests. Wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from other people, and continually washing and sanitizing hands are the best ways to prevent the unintentional spread of the virus.
If you or anyone in your group is unable or unwilling to follow the safety measures put in place to protect yourself and the people around you, the management of Hollywood Casino in Perryville, Maryland respectfully asks that you postpone your trip to our facilities until coronavirus vaccines and more effective treatment measures are in place.
Hollywood Casino is Working Hard to Keep You Healthy
Social distancing is one of the most important tools in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. That’s why every member of the Hollywood Casino staff is focused on maintaining social distancing policies. Another way we enforce social distancing is by limiting the number of employees and visitors allowed into our facilities at one time, to enable each person to social distance once inside the casino.
We’re also reducing access to table game and slot gaming positions, allowing people to use every other seat or machine, to help our visitors successfully social distance from each other.
We allow a maximum of three players on five and six-position tables with unoccupied seats in between. Tables with seven positions are now limited to four players with the same unoccupied seat requirement.
New social distancing requirements mean that visitors can no longer stand at the table or stand less than six feet behind seated players. If a dealer or staff member asks you to move back to maintain social distancing, remember that we’re doing it for your safety and for the protection of the people around you.
Hollywood Casino in Perryville has also altered the availability of slot machines. Depending on the number of slot machines in a bank or cluster, and the size of the machines, the number of shut down machines between customers varies. However, we have carefully evaluated each area to ensure that social distancing guidelines are followed.
Before You Visit our Perryville, Maryland Location:
We know that nothing’s more frustrating than getting ready for a night out, traveling to our Perryville, Maryland location, and then finding out that you will not be allowed into Hollywood Casino because of coronavirus restrictions. There are many things you can do before you head out to make sure that you are well, you are set up to protect your fellow visitors, and you’re doing everything you need to do to protect yourself from the virus. To assist you in your preparations, we’ve developed this checklist designed to ensure visitors avoid disappointment.
- Take your temperature before you leave home, and make sure it’s 100.4 degrees or lower. It doesn’t matter why your temperature is elevated; because of coronavirus restrictions and procedures, Hollywood Casino must deny access to any visitor or employee who has a fever of 100.4 or higher.
- Check yourself for symptoms. Hollywood Casino may deny access to potential visitors or employees if they are visibly ill. If you are sneezing, have a cough, a runny nose, or trouble breathing, you should check with your doctor, and postpone your visit to Hollywood Casino.
- Be considerate of others: wear a mask. We know many people find mask-wearing inconvenient, uncomfortable, or annoying. We don’t enjoy wearing masks, either. However, we insist that all our visitors bring a mask and plan to wear it all night. If you forget your mask, we have free masks available. Every Hollywood Casino employee must wear a mask. Remember that otherwise healthy people can carry the virus without exhibiting any symptoms. Wearing a mask is not only a great way to show others that you are considerate of their concerns, but it’s also required by Hollywood Casino for entry.
- Follow your state and city restrictions. Activity and restrictions vary among cities and states. Before you head to Perryville, Maryland, make sure you’re adhering to your city or state health department’s restrictions designed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
- Minimize your exposure to potential risks. In addition to wearing a facemask, some research suggests that wearing long sleeves, loose clothing, and closed-toe shoes minimize your body’s exposure to surface contaminants. While our casino does not require these measures, they may help some guests increase their personal protection. Even if wearing additional clothing, all visitors must social distance from others by maintaining 6 feet of distance.
- Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. The CDC and World Health Organization agree that washing your hands is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself from coronavirus. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and then wash your hands or use hand sanitizer immediately afterward. Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Assess your travel risks. Protect your personal health from the moment you leave your home. Think about the risks associated with different types of travel to Hollywood Casino. There could be a chance of getting the COVID-19 virus on a bus or train if you are sitting or standing within 6 feet of others. Even driving your own vehicle can require stops that may put you in close contact with infected people. While these are acceptable risks for some people, if you’re at high risk for severe effects from coronavirus, evaluate each situation carefully.
- Make sure your hotel is clean and safe. If you’re planning on staying a hotel, check the hotel’s website to find out which precautions are being taken. When in doubt, bring cleaning supplies with you so you can disinfect all high-touch surfaces, such as light switches, faucet handles, doorknobs, and the remote.
- Take precautions around food. Our team has dramatically increased already stringent food safety policies. You can also reduce the likelihood of transmitting a virus by using a credit card for touchless pay. Stay at least 6 feet away from others while waiting in line. And remember to wash or sanitize your hands before going to the restaurant, after picking up your food, and after eating.
- If you’re at higher risk, stay home for a bit longer. If you’re at a higher risk of serious illness, it’s smart to avoid crowds for a while longer. It won’t be much longer before the risk of infections drops significantly. Hollywood Casino will be eagerly waiting for you when it safer for high-risk people to visit.
Tips for Social Distancing Inside the Casino
You’ve got your mask on, you’re cleared to enter, and you’re ready to have fun. What can you expect inside, and what’s the best way to social distance inside Hollywood Casino?
To start, the casino won’t be crowded. We’re limiting capacity to 50%, which means you’ll have more space than ever before. While many people are saddened by the effect the virus has had on our society, our visitors are still delighted when they discover that they have more “elbow room” than ever.
Take advantage of the extra square footage to stay 6 feet away from other visitors and staff. It’s polite to step aside and let others pass in ways that maintain distance. If you’re not sure if people heading towards you are coming into your social distancing perimeter, ask, “are you coming my way?” and then politely step back and let them pass.
Not everyone will be as conscientious as you are about social distancing, so when in doubt, step back and let them pass. Think of allowing others to pass as a new version of “opening doors for others.” It’s a sign of good manners, and you should always thank others who let you pass.
At the Slots
Hollywood Casino has reconfigured slot machines to make it easy to maintain 6 feet of distance between players. That means there will be fewer machines to play, but since there are also fewer people in the casino, it shouldn’t slow you down. Although our employees are continually sanitizing slot machines, it’s never a bad idea to use a sanitizing wipe before you begin. As always, wear a mask, and avoid touching your face. Once you’re done using the machine, be considerate to others and give it the lever a sanitizing wipe if you have wipes on you, or signal to staff that you’re done so they can sanitize it for you.
At the Tables
At all table games, including blackjack, craps, roulette, Spanish 21, three-card poker, four-card poker, ultimate Texas hold ’em, and high card flush, Hollywood Casino has eliminated every other seat to maintain social distancing. While COVID-19 restrictions are in place, a maximum of three players will be allowed on five and six-position tables, with roped off seats in between. Tables with seven-position are now limited to four players with the same unoccupied seat requirement. Even with these measures in place, each guest is required to keep a mask on except when eating or drinking.
While standing at any table games or behind players is a fun way to watch the action, in order to comply with distancing requirements, non-gambling visitors are no longer allowed to stand at the table. Viewers must stand at least six feet behind seated players. If standing 6 feet behind seated players violates other social distancing restrictions, the dealer or staff may ask you to move.
In Off-Track Betting
The same social distancing restrictions are in place in our Off-Track Betting facility. While you can still watch the races on large screen TVs, seating is staggered to ensure social distancing, and masks are required for visitors and employees.
Is this the Worst Health Crisis in the U.S.?
While this pandemic has been wide-reaching, health crises are not new in the United States. However, technology and medical advances are changing the ways we deal with outbreaks like COVID-19 today. Throughout our nation’s history, our citizens have fought contagious illnesses with varying degrees of success.
Smallpox was a contagious disease that was recorded as early as 1633 in America. While the mortality rate from smallpox was initially very high, after a vaccine initiative in 1972, cases stopped appearing. Smallpox has not been diagnosed in the U.S. for decades, and vaccines are no longer necessary.
Americans used to fear yellow fever, a virus common in the Caribbean that causes yellowed skin, fever, vomiting, and has a high mortality rate. In 1953, a vaccine radically reduced the number of outbreaks, and almost eliminated the disease in the United States. Today, Americans rarely get the yellow fever vaccine unless they are traveling to high-risk areas.
During three waves of cholera in the 1800s, outbreaks were estimated to have killed 5-10% of the American population. Cholera is still around today but is easily treated with antibiotics and medical care. Cholera vaccines exist for people living in or visiting high-risk areas.
Scarlet fever raged through the U.S. in 1858 and was especially dangerous for children. Better nutrition has minimized the risk of scarlet fever in modern times. It is often diagnosed as strep throat and can be treated with antibiotics.
Typhoid raged through New York in 1906-1907, killing thousands. This epidemic greatly accelerated efforts to provide universal, clean drinking water and improve the safety of waste disposal. Typhoid vaccines exist today, and this disease is very rare in the U.S.
The 1918 flu epidemic, sometimes called the Spanish flu, was actually H1N1 and is still around today. This strain of flu mutates each year, so getting annual flu shots formulated to fight the latest strains is the best way to protect yourself.
From 1921-1925, a diphtheria epidemic caused fatal heart and nerve damage. By the mid-1920s, scientists had developed a vaccine, which is still widely used today. Diphtheria is usually treated with antibiotics.
During the first half of the 20th century, parents lived in fear of polio. This contagious disease struck adults and children and could leave the patient crippled, paralyzed, or dead. Notably, President Franklin Roosevelt was disabled after his fight with polio. An effective vaccine was developed in 1955, and the U.S. has not reported any polio cases since 1979. Vaccines are recommended before traveling abroad.
In 1957, the H2N2 flu was identified in coastal cities, and over 100,000 deaths were reported in a single summer. A vaccine was developed immediately, and this flu strain is now rare in humans.
In the 1980s, measles reappeared. This surge was attributed to a lapse in vaccinations. Now children get two vaccines, and unvaccinated adults are urged to get vaccines before traveling abroad.
In 2009, H1N1 reappeared and was often referred to as swine flu. The CDC estimates 60 million Americans contracted this strain of influenza in 2009, resulting in more than 10,000 deaths.
For reliable research on past and ongoing epidemics, visit the CDC’s Current Outbreak ListTrusted Source, especially if you’re traveling.
We are in This Together!
Outbreaks of contagious diseases have happened before and may happen again. However, our medical and research community is more able than ever to diagnose and restrict the spread of new strains. Within months of the first outbreak of COVID-19, treatment of the disease was significantly improved, death rates were reduced, and viable vaccinations were being tested.
While coronavirus is an especially dangerous flu, America’s willingness to change social behaviors may have minimized the spread of the virus. Hollywood Casino in Perryville understands that wearing masks and social distancing often feels inconvenient but remember that we’re all protecting each other. With just little extra effort, we can all stay safe and have fun.