SCHENECTADY – Patrons at Rivers Casino & Resort no longer need to wear masks as long as they are fully vaccinated, casino officials announced on Friday.
In the latest sign of a shift toward normality following COVID-19 social gathering restrictions in place for the last 15 months, the casino said it will follow the guidelines recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control, which last week announced that people who are fully vaccinated – meaning two weeks since their final shot – no longer need to mask up.
Those who are unvaccinated, or not fully vaccinated, will still need to use a mask. The casino will use an honor system and not seek confirmation of an individual’s vaccination status.
The change is effective immediately.
The casino at Mohawk Harbor is currently limiting patron numbers to 50% of maximum capacity so that a 6-foot social distance can be maintained between patrons. Casino management said its Our Sure Bet Sanitizing cleaning program will remain in full effect, with hand wipes and hand-sanitizing stations available throughout the property.
“We look forward to continuing to provide a safe, fun experience for all our guests and team members at Rivers Casino & Resort,” the statement said.
The casino is currently open from 6 a.m. until 2 a.m. daily, with the downtime used for property-wide deep cleaning. The Rivers Sportsbook is open, along with slots and table games. Most on-site restaurants are open, but the poker room, event center and valet parking haven’t returned yet.
The casino was shut down in March 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and didn’t reopen until September. For months after that, state guidelines limited it to 25% of capacity.
Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Friday that the statewide 7-day average COVID-19 positivity rate dropped to 0.99 percent Thursday, the lowest it has been since Sept. 26. The Capital Region rate was 1.1%, and Schenectady County’s rate was 1.2%.