With the opening of the Encore Boston Harbor constantly at the mercy of COVID-19 numbers, Encore President Brian Gullbrants sent a letter out to all employees last Friday, Oct. 9, asking them to be as diligent away from work as they have been inside the casino confines.
The Encore and other casinos in the state have had a very good run since opening up last summer in terms of avoiding outbreaks within the guest and employee population. However, a recent party outside of work apparently put some employees at work, and Gullbrants wanted to remind employees to be as diligent outside of work as they are inside – as the fate of many jobs lie upon everyone staying healthy.
“COVID-19 positivity rates are increasing throughout the State, and several of the communities in which we live are now classified as hot spots,” he wrote in the letter, which was acquired by the Independent. “Our Human Resources Department is receiving more and more calls from co-workers feeling symptomatic. And, recently, a group of employees attended an off-site, non-work related party and several people from that party have now tested positive for COVID-19. I share this as a reminder of how important it is to remain diligent regarding your safety and the safety of your friends, family and co-workers. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is rebounding and with the cooler temperatures upon us, health experts expect a second wave to hit, and hit hard. We cannot put ourselves, our families and our co-workers at risk.
“This isn’t just a work thing,” he continued. “Please don’t let your guard down when you’re at home.”
Spokesperson Eric Kraus said the letter went out as a reminder for the safety of everyone at work and at home. He said Encore has worked extremely hard to make a safe environment for employees and guests, and that also means being diligent about safety away from work too.
“The letter underscored the importance of being just as diligent when not in work,” he said. “Because of the increase in cases, we need our families and friends to be safe. The letter underscored that need not to take this seriousness about safety away when not in the workplace. We are very diligent in creating a very safe environment for employees and guests, and we want to make sure our employees aren’t bringing the virus into this safe environment…We want to underscore that everyone needs to be just as militant when outside of work as they have been in work.”
At the last Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) meeting on Oct. 8, the Commission got a very good briefing from MGC investigators, who said compliance is excellent at Encore and other sites, and there were not real issues to be reported.
The hope, Kraus said, is that trend continues.