MGM Resorts has informed unvaccinated employees in Las Vegas that they need to either pay the company for ongoing COVID-19 testing or procure their own tests.
Media reports surfaced today that Nevada’s largest employer and operator of the most Las Vegas Strip casino resorts is charging non-vaxxed employees $15 per week for coronavirus tests.
Brian Ahern, MGM’s director of media relations, tells Casino.org that isn’t necessarily accurate. Ahern explained that MGM began a new testing policy as of July 26. Any non-vaccinated employee in Las Vegas who is not working from home must participate.
Four groups categorized by individuals’ last names (A-E, F-L, M-R, S-Z) will undergo testing during an assigned week. Staffers in the A-E group are first up, testing for those employees underway this week.
Employees have the option of paying a $15 copay for onsite testing, or opting to undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on their own. With the latter, the individual must bring in the results during their testing week. Off-site test results can also be uploaded to the online employee portal My MGM.
MGM employees who are vaccinated are required under company policy to upload their proof of vaccination to the employee portal. Once confirmed by MGM corporate human resources, that team member is excluded from participating in the ongoing staggered group testing program.
Moving forward, employees who test positive for COVID-19 will be sent home and required to quarantine. Non-vaccinated workers who contract the coronavirus, MGM notifies, will not be paid for their mandatory time off.
With COVID-19 cases recently on the rise in Southern Nevada, Clark County last week reimplemented mandatory wearing of face masks for all government employees while inside crowded workspaces. The Nevada Gaming Control Board adopted the recommendation, applying mandatory face coverings for all casino workers inside when the gaming floor is busy.
Clark County’s guidance, which received the support of Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D), is in hopes of combating the recent COVID-19 surge while allowing the region’s economy to continue running.
If you are not vaccinated, or if you know someone who is not vaccinated, now is the time to get your shot and ensure that Nevada continues on our path to recovery,” Sisolak said last week.
MGM Resorts, along with many other Strip casinos, has consistently urged employees and their family members to get vaccinated. But there appears to be ongoing hesitancy among some Nevadans.
Nevada has consistently lagged behind the national rate of vaccination. Per the latest data, 57 percent of all US residents have received at least one COVID-19 dose, and 49.4 percent are fully vaccinated.
But in Nevada, 53 percent of people have received at least one dose, and only 44 percent are fully vaccinated.
Nevada’s Department of Health and Human Services revealed today that there are 1,143 people hospitalized on COVID-19-related symptoms. That’s up from just 97 hospitalizations yesterday, and is just four patients off from last summer’s high during the second coronavirus wave.
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