Tioga Downs implements plan to keep patrons safe during pandemic

Tioga Downs Casino Resort in Nichols in Tioga County on Sept. 14 released details of its “We’re a Safe Bet!” health and safety plan for operations as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Tioga Downs is among the state-approved casinos that have reopened at 25 percent-
capacity. The venues had shut down operations in mid-March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. (PHOTO CREDIT: TIOGA DOWNS CASINO RESORT WEBSITE)

NICHOLS — Tioga Downs Casino Resort has released the details of its “We’re a Safe Bet!” health and safety plan designed to protect the well-being of both customers and employees.

The casino resort was among the state-approved casinos that reopened Sept. 9 with its hotel facility reopening on Sept. 11. The facilities reopened with a 25-percent occupancy limit.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo provided the guidance for the state-approved casinos to reopen the previous week.

Along with standard social-distancing procedures, Tioga Downs Casino Resort says it has been working with health-care experts and medical-grade cleaning professionals to develop the “We’re a Safe Bet!” plan. It includes protocols and regulations that it contends “go above and beyond” state-mandated requirements to ensure that patrons at the venue can return “safely and responsibly.”

Pandemic safety plan

Under the plan, all employees and guests will have their temperatures checked before entering the property and will be required to wear a mask at all times.

In addition, all employees have to pass a COVID-19 antibody test or COVID-19 viral test before returning to work.

All employees received training from the regional safety & risk officer on COVID-19 safety and sanitation protocols.

Tioga Downs also installed an air-plasma generator and ultraviolet duct system to “constantly purify air and reduce microorganisms and pollutants by more than 99 percent across the facility,” per its news release.

Air filters have been upgraded to MERV-13 in accordance with state-government guidance.

In addition, 15 medical-grade air-purification units have been placed throughout the facility, which produce 99.99 percent aggregate removal of particles down to 0.007 microns.

Tioga Downs says it has also put a “specially trained safety ambassadors” team in place to “ensure compliance and to properly clean and disinfect all areas.”

Tioga Downs operations

Tioga Downs announced that “initially,” the casino will operate about 350 slots while the poker room, tables games, and simulcast will remain closed until further notice.

The FanDuel Sportsbook, Coasters Sports Bar, Java G’s Café, and P.J. Clarke’s Restaurant also opened at Tioga Downs and will operate under New York State guidelines.

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