COVID19 Prevention Checklist Industry Guidance
Last updated: Dec 30, 2020
The State of Maine has adopted a staged approach, supported by science, public health expertise, and industry collaboration, to allow Maine businesses to safely open when the time is right. The plan is available at www.maine.gov/covid19/restartingmaine.
This is one of many industry guidance documents the State is preparing for businesses so they can be prepared to meet health guidelines and reopen safely. Please make sure you pair this document with the general guidance document that applies to all industries, which is available on maine.gov/decd.
Please note: This document may be updated as additional information and resources become available.
Indoor casino venues bring people from different households into close contact with each other, potentially for a prolonged period, and have the potential to increase COVID-19 transmission. The primary tools to control the spread of COVID-19 are to reduce exposure to respiratory droplets through physical distancing and face coverings, increase hand hygiene, and avoid shared items and common touch surfaces. The goals of this guidance are to protect employees, guests, and the local community from COVID-19 infection.
Beginning Friday, November 20, 2020, Casino establishments must close for the night by 9:00 p.m. (Updated 12/30/20)
- Require all employees, vendors, and guests to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from individuals who are not part of their household group whenever possible.
- Require all employees, vendors, and guests to wear a face covering.
- Because interacting with more people raises transmission risk, employees who interact directly and in close proximity with many guests (e.g. ID checkers, dealers) are encouraged to wear a face shield, in addition to a face covering, unless they are behind a plexiglass barrier.
- Face coverings do not need to be worn while an individual is eating or drinking.
- Additional information about proper use of face coverings is available from the CDC (see: Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19).
- The number of individuals that can gather in a shared space must not exceed the limit established by the Governor’s Executive Order.
- If a space cannot accommodate the gathering limit without complying with the six-foot distancing requirement, occupancy must be limited to allow for such compliance.
Cleaning and Disinfection
- Refer to the following documents for guidance on general cleaning and disinfection:
- Staff should consider whether they can work safely if they have any of these conditions and managers should discuss potential risks for individuals with the following:
- People 65 or older
- People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled including:
- People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- People who have serious heart conditions
- People who are immunocompromised: Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
- People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
- People with diabetes
- People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
- People with liver disease
- Staff should stay at home if they are sick. Supervisors should ask all staff to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms using either of the following approaches:
- Use an electronic or app-based self-screening form, such as the Coronavirus Self-Checker available on the federal CDC’s homepage.
- Self-screen using the following questions:
- Do you feel ill or have you been caring for someone who is ill?
- In the past two weeks, have you been exposed to anyone who tested positive for COVID-19?
- Require employees to practice good hand hygiene with frequent handwashing, especially after contact with other individuals or high-touch surfaces.
- Conduct business by phone or internet to the greatest extent practicable.
- Limit in-person gatherings or meetings of employees to the greatest extent practicable.
- Where possible, stagger employee shifts and meal breaks to avoid crowding.
- Adjust seating in break rooms and other common areas to promote physical distancing practices.
- Permit employees to take breaks and lunch outside, or in such other areas where physical distancing is attainable.
- Discourage employees from using colleagues’ phones, desks, workstations, radios, handhelds/wearables, or other office tools and equipment.
- Limit interactions between employees and outside vendors or delivery drivers; implement touchless receiving practices if possible.
- Request that vendors accessing the premises direct their employees to follow all physical distancing guidelines and health directives issued by the applicable public authorities.
- Adjust training/onboarding practices to limit number of people involved and allow for 6 foot spacing; use virtual/video/audio training when possible.
- Provide employees training on:
- hand hygiene
- physical distancing guidelines and expectations
- monitoring personal health
- proper wear, removal, and disposal of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- laundering of face coverings and uniforms: Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility, How to Disinfect: Laundry (CDC)
- cleaning protocols, including how to safely and effectively use cleaning supplies: Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes (CDC)
- Consider employee training in safe de-escalation techniques.
Communicating COVID-19 Policies
- Inform guests of your COVID-19 policies and procedures in advance, if possible, via website, newsletters, social media channels, newspaper, ticket purchasing site, etc.
- Place signage at entrances and throughout venue (particularly high traffic areas such as service counters) alerting employees and guests to required occupancy limits, physical distancing requirements, face covering policies, symptoms of COVID-19, and other health and hygiene reminders. The federal CDC has developed free, printable posters on these topics (see: Print Resources).
- It is strongly recommended that businesses remind patrons that if they are ill (e.g. have a fever or cough) they should not visit. Signage reminding patrons of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 is highly recommended.
- Consider using announcements and/or recorded messages to communicate COVID-19 policies to guests during their time at the venue.
- Ensure that staffing is sufficient to enable enhanced cleaning and disinfection measures and enforcement of new safety guidelines.
- Ensure adequate supplies (e.g., soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer, tissue) to support healthy hygiene practices, including increased cleaning and disinfection procedures.
- Take steps to improve ventilation in any buildings on the premises.
- Increase the percentage of outdoor air (e.g., using economizer modes of HVAC operations) potentially as high as 100% (first verify compatibility with HVAC system capabilities for both temperature and humidity control as well as compatibility with outdoor/indoor air quality considerations).
- Increase total airflow supply to occupied spaces, if possible.
- Disable demand-control ventilation (DCV) controls that reduce air supply based on temperature or occupancy.
- Consider using natural ventilation (i.e., opening windows if possible and safe to do so) to increase outdoor air dilution of indoor air when environmental conditions and building requirements allow.
- Take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (for example, drinking fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of disease. Further guidance is available from the CDC (see: Guidance for Reopening Buildings After Prolonged Shutdown or Reduced Operation).
- Consider restricting the use of water fountains to refill only with instruction for employees and guests to wash or sanitize hands after use.
- Consider installing non-porous physical barriers such as partitions or plexiglass barriers to protect employees and guests. Barriers should be placed at information desks, service counters, and other similar locations where it is not possible to maintain a minimum of 6 feet of physical distance.
- Limit activities that require individuals to enter within 6 feet of another person, regardless of whether physical barriers are installed.
- Modify building/venue traffic flow to minimize contact between employees, vendors, and guests. Use floor decals and/or signage to establish travel patterns.
- Consider one-way entrances and exits, if possible.
- Consider establishing one-way travel patterns through the venue.
- Minimize traffic in enclosed spaces, such as stairwells and other spaces that do not allow for appropriate physical distancing. Consider limiting the number of individuals in an elevator at one time and designating one directional stairwells.
- Ensure your First Aid protocols address how to manage guests or employees with COVID-19 symptoms. If an individual becomes ill at your venue, have a plan for a room or space where the person can be isolated until transferred home or to a health care facility and provide a face covering or mask, if available and tolerated.
- For contact tracing purposes, to the extent practicable, establishments should maintain a record for 30 days including contact information for employees and guests who have direct prolonged interaction.
- Based on current knowledge, a close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before illness onset until the time the patient is isolated. Close contacts should stay home, maintain physical distancing, and self-monitor until 14 days from the last date of exposure.
- Establishments should promptly notify the Maine DHHS, CDC or any local health official if they learn an employee or other worker has tested positive for COVID-19 and assist all such officials as reasonably requested to trace likely contacts and advise contacts to isolate and self-quarantine.
- Retail spaces should follow state guidance on safe operation of retail businesses.
- Minimize shared touch surfaces such as pens, tablets, receipts, etc.
- Provide disposable or single-use items whenever possible. If disposable replacements cannot be provided, properly clean and disinfect items between uses.
- High-contact areas such as doorknobs, counters, and interactive displays should be cleaned frequently. Consider providing sanitizing wipes near these locations.
- Limit restroom occupancy for group restrooms to incorporate physical distancing and avoid formation of waiting lines outside of restrooms.
- Clean and disinfect restrooms on a regular and scheduled basis (see General Cleaning and Disinfecting section).
- Remove any items that do not have to be in the restrooms (e.g., magazines, decor).
- Consider establishing separate restrooms for employees and guests.
- Post handwashing signs in all restrooms. The federal CDC has developed free, printable posters that describe appropriate handwashing standards (see: Print Resources).
Arrival and Queuing Areas
- At all significant points of entry and exit, consider separating ingress from egress in order to avoid two-way flow of guest traffic.
- At points of entry, station casino staff in order to provide guests with masks (if guest needs one) that cover the nose and mouth. Guests should wear masks or face coverings that cover the nose and mouth upon entry and while in the establishment.
- Guests who are subject to identification check may be required to briefly lower a mask or face covering to verify their identity with government-issued identification cards.
- Eliminate waiting lines to the greatest extent practicable. Where lines are unavoidable, ensure 6 feet of distance between individuals. This can be accomplished by demarcating 6-foot distances on floors or walls. Eliminate “zig-zag” queue patterns that make physical distance difficult to maintain.
- To the extent practicable, alter security protocols to allow for compliance with physical distancing, proper hand hygiene, and cleaning and disinfection practices.
- If bag checks are part of an establishment’s security protocols, avoid touching patrons' personal items. Consider enforcing a small clear bag policy in which patrons open their own bags for inspection. Alternatively, consider prohibiting bags entirely, although exceptions will likely be necessary for medicine or personal hygiene products.
- Walk-through magnetometers are effective at detecting metallic objects while allowing security workers to maintain social distance. Hand wands are a less costly alternative that still allow no-contact metal detection, but they require the security worker to be closer than six feet from the patron, so they are less optimal from a health perspective. Pat-downs present the highest risk for transmission, and venues may deny admission to patrons who repeatedly activate the magnetometer rather than putting hands on patrons. It is strongly recommended that any worker conducting a pat-down search wear a face covering, face shield, and gloves and have access to a wash and sanitizing station. Gloves should be changed between pat-downs.
- To the extent possible, utilize remote ticketing and payment options to reduce transactions on site and manage congestion. Consider a timed ticketing program that staggers arrivals.
- Use digital rather than paper formats to the greatest extent practicable (e.g. electronic tickets and receipts). If applicable, consider implementing digital waivers for guests to review and sign prior to arriving.
- Consider time limits for visits to help manage occupancy limits.
- Consider offering all-inclusive package deals to reduce transactions on site.
- Limit cash and paper receipt transactions; promote “contactless” payment options (e.g., online payments, pay by phone options, RFID credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.)
- Wash hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) after handling cash.
- Where possible, card readers should be placed in front of physical barriers so guests can swipe their own cards and enter their codes. Card readers and keypads should be cleaned and disinfected frequently. Hand sanitizer should be made available for guests before and after transactions.
Slot Games and Arcades
- Guests should keep their face coverings on for the duration of their time in the venue.
- Hand sanitizing stations should be easily accessible in slot game areas.
- Make disinfectant wipes available for guests wishing to wipe down the slot machine and chair before using.
- Place signage in game areas alerting guests to required occupancy limits, physical distancing requirements, face covering requirements, symptoms of COVID-19, and other health and hygiene reminders.
- Machines should be placed to allow for at least 6 feet of physical distancing between individuals. If machines cannot be moved, some machines can be turned off or otherwise inactivated to keep guests from using adjacent machines. Remove chairs from inactivated machines.
- Operating slot machines may be separated by plexiglass dividers. Dividers must be no less than six feet high and extend one foot behind the seats.
- Physical distancing should be maintained between players unless they are part of the same party.
- Discourage guests from different parties from congregating behind players.
- Establish cleaning protocols for machines to ensure they are cleaned frequently. Place signage advising hand sanitizer use before and after use.
- Guests should use hand sanitizer prior to start of play and when leaving a table.
- All chips from the cage should be cleaned and disinfected.
- Develop protocol to replace cards based on volume and frequency of play.
- Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfection of all gaming equipment and devices with a focus on high-touch areas.
- Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfection of chairs and table rails.
- Make hand sanitizer available to guests in each gaming pit.
- Make sanitizing wipes available with corresponding signage to guests in each gaming pit.
- Limit the touching of cards and chips by players to the extent possible.
- For Blackjack-style tables, install plexiglass dividers not less than six feet tall and extending one foot behind seats separating dealer from player positions and between player positions.
- No more than 3 player positions at each Blackjack-style table, with chairs for unavailable positions removed.
- No craps or roulette until further notice.
- No poker until further notice.
- Install protective plexiglass partitions at cage locations between guests and cage employees.
- Close alternating cage windows or install protective plexiglass between cage windows for 6-foot physical distancing.
- Encourage contactless transactions, e.g. credit cards. If a guest elects to use cash, provide them with the option to receive cash in enclosed envelopes.
- Clean and disinfect counters and touch screens frequently, at least hourly.
- Make hand sanitizer available near cage area.
- Implement protocols to maintain 6-foot physical distancing for queuing and interactions in cage area, with signage and spacing marked on the floor.
Food and Beverage Services
- Food and beverage operations should follow state guidance for food and drink services.
- Drink or food refills should not be allowed unless served in a clean, unused container.
- Minimize self-service areas such as drink stations. To the extent possible, use contact-less dispensers to minimize hand touching. Replace multi-use condiments with single-serve packets. Other suggestions to minimize multi-touch surfaces include providing single-wrap utensils, straws, and lids at any take-out or self-seating point of sale. Any self-service areas require frequent cleaning and disinfection.
- Use of prepackaged food and beverages is encouraged.
- Consider where lines may form around food service operations and implement the guidance described in the “Arrival and Queuing Areas” section of this guidance.
- Consumption of food must be limited to designated areas.
- Bars will remain closed until further notice.
- Beverage service is allowed in the gaming area and limited to guests who are seated and actively engaged in gambling and who lower their face coverings for drinking only. Guests may get drinks from designated stations as long as 6-foot physical distancing is maintained in any lines and they promptly return to their chosen seating area.
- Guests must not congregate at any food or beverage stations or in the gaming areas, particularly while eating or drinking.
- Do not schedule any promotions or activities outside of normal operations that challenge the ability to maintain 6 feet of physical distancing between patrons.
- Discontinue valet service until further notice (unless necessary due to physical or geographic constraints in order to accommodate individual guests with disabling conditions).
- Coat check services should remain closed at this time.
- Any performances or entertainment should follow Performing Venue Guidelines and banquet services should follow food and drink service guidelines.
COVID-19 Prevention Form
In order to open, businesses must commit to complying with requirements of these checklists by filling out this short online form. Please note that religious organizations and licensed health care providers are not required to use this form.