Posted on: March 30, 2021, 09:29h.
Last updated on: March 30, 2021, 10:31h.
Atlantic City casino workers, regardless of age and underlying conditions, all became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine this week on New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) directive. The town’s gaming union hopes to have all of its members who wish to receive the vaccination innoculated by Memorial Day.
Unite Here Local 54 represents approximately 25,000 casino employees in Atlantic City. The labor group, along with the Casino Association of New Jersey, has partnered with AtlantiCare to get shots in casino workers’ arms.
Getting our local hospitality workers vaccinated is an important part of protecting our community and creating a safe, healthy environment for those who look forward to visiting our region every year,” said AtlantiCare President and CEO Lori Herndon.
Casino workers have been notified by their employer as to how to go about making a vaccination appointment. The vaccines are being administered by AtlantiCare at the Atlantic County COVID-19 Vaccination Mega Site located at the Atlantic City Convention Center.
The mega center is currently administering more than 4,000 vaccines per day. It’s administered over 140,000 doses since the facility opened on January 22.
Busy Season on Tap
Atlantic City is approaching what is traditionally its busiest time of the season. With warmer weather and the summer months ahead, casinos and their workers are hopeful that visitors will return.
Along with more enticing weather, Atlantic City’s gaming industry benefited recently from Murphy’s decision to allow them to increase their indoor operating capacity from 35 percent to 50 percent.
“Our top priority is the health and safety of our employees, guests, and fellow residents,” said Steve Callender, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey. “The COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect our employees against this deadly virus, and we are grateful that our workforce will be vaccinated.”
Callender announced his retirement last week after working in Atlantic City since the first legal bet was wagered in 1978.
Workers Eager to Return
Mario Guzman, a food server at the Borgata, was the first casino worker to be vaccinated yesterday. He said he’s been laid off since last March.
“Thankfully, I will be going back to work at Borgata in June. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to get the vaccine, thanks to my union, AtlantiCare, the casino industry, and the governor of New Jersey. I’m so happy that I can keep the customers safe and go back to work,” Guzman stated.
The last year has been very challenging for my family,” Patti Cianci, a cocktail server at Bally’s, said in a union release. She’s been employed at the Boardwalk resort for 41 years.
“I haven’t seen my close family members in almost a year. I am so grateful that I am able to get the COVID vaccine. I am looking forward to getting back to normal and keeping my coworkers and guests safe,” Cianci concluded.