MGM Resorts outlines 7-step health, safety plan for reopening

MGM Resorts International today released details on the comprehensive health and safety protocols the company is implementing prior to reopening its domestic properties and resorts. The company’s resorts were temporarily closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report details MGM Resorts’ “Seven-Point Safety Plan”—a multilayered set of protocols and procedures designed in conjunction with medical and scientific experts to deter the spread of the virus, protect customers and employees and rapidly respond to potential new cases.

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“Preparing for the moment we can reopen our doors, MGM Resorts focused on developing a plan that puts health and safety at the center of everything we do. Our Seven-Point Safety Plan is the result of months of consultations with public health experts and outlines our comprehensive approach to welcoming guests back safely,” said MGM Resorts acting CEO/President Bill Hornbuckle. “Our properties will not look the way they used to for a while, and that’s not only OK, it’s critically important. We will continue providing the hospitality experiences we are known for, but we must do so safely. We will continue working with experts and following guidance from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and government officials and regulators as we evolve these protocols based on the latest information.”

These protocols and procedures focus on balancing customer service with the urgent need to apply knowledge about COVID-19 and adapt environments accordingly. This plan is being implemented at MGM Resorts’ properties throughout the United States, with additions and changes being made based on local jurisdictions.

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MGM Resorts’ Seven-Point Safety Plan is as follows:

1. Screening, Temperature Checks and Employee Training

MGM Resorts has implemented employee-screening measures to assess signs and symptoms of infection and whether the employee resides with or cares for someone who has recently been diagnosed with the virus. Employees are currently and will continue to go through temperature checks before entering properties.

Guests will be asked to abide by a similar self-screening protocol prior to arriving and during their stay. Guests who have reason to believe they may have been exposed to the virus are strongly urged to follow CDC guidelines for self-quarantine and not travel.

2. Mandatory Masks and Personal Protective Equipment

All MGM Resorts employees will be provided and required to wear an approved mask when on our properties. The company also strongly will encourage guests to wear masks in public areas and offer masks to any guests who need one, free of charge. Gloves will continue to be worn by employees who require them to do their jobs, such as food handlers and employees who clean public areas. Additional categories of employees required to wear PPE will be identified by medical experts.

  • Drink service: Guests will be asked to minimize the amount of time masks are removed when drinking on the casino floor.
  • Eating: Guests will be asked to refrain from eating on the casino floor to minimize the amount of time masks are removed.

3. Physical Distancing

A 6-foot physical distancing policy will be in place, wherever feasible, with floor guides serving as reminders throughout MGM Resorts properties. From time to time, 6-foot distancing will be challenging, and in those cases, reasonable mitigating protocols will be implemented, such as plexiglass barriers or eye protection for employees. Plexiglass barriers will be installed in areas throughout casinos and lobbies, where appropriate, for the safety of guests and employees. Signage will be installed throughout properties to guide employees and guests on how to safely practice physical distancing.

Photo credit: MGM Resorts

4. Hand-washing and Enhanced Sanitization

Prior to property closures in March, MGM Resorts implemented increased and enhanced routine cleaning, based on CDC guidelines, with a focus on high-touch surfaces in common areas. The company will continue using proven cleaning products in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for coronaviruses, bacteria and other infectious pathogens. Electrostatic sprayers will be used in many large areas to apply disinfectant more efficiently.

In addition, custom-built hand-washing stations with soap and water, along with hand-sanitizing stations, will be readily available in high-traffic areas and with a visible presence. Signage will be installed to guide and remind employees and guests of the importance of proper hand-washing protocols.

5. Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Controls and Air Quality

MGM Resorts has always placed a high priority on air quality and has reviewed the operation of HVAC systems to identify additional opportunities to enhance their effectiveness. Rigorous measures in accordance with established guidelines to help mitigate the risk of virus transmission have been taken throughout the properties.

As scientific information becomes available about the virus, and as additional guidance from state and local authorities and our medical experts evolve, we will continue to review and adjust the operation of our HVAC systems, fully recognizing the important role they have in keeping employees and guests healthy and safe.

6. Incident Response Protocols

MGM Resorts has protocols in place aimed at reducing the chance infection will spread. In the unfortunate event a guest or employee tests positive for the virus, the company will activate incident-response protocols to ensure the infected individual has access to medical treatment, exposed areas are thoroughly sanitized and, when possible, notify those who may have come in close, prolonged contact with the infected individual. MGM Resorts has medical and security personnel on staff to respond quickly in the event of an incident.

7. Digital Innovations

MGM Resorts is reimagining several aspects of the guest experience through technology to transition current processes into contactless options for guests that eliminates or reduces the need for waiting in line.

  • Contactless check-in: Guests will have the ability to complete the check-in process entirely themselves through the MGM Resorts mobile app. This includes the ability to process payment, verify identification and obtain a digital room key, all through a mobile device. If preferred, physical keys will be available through self-serve key encoders. Employees will be available for guests who prefer check-in without using their mobile device, while still maintaining a line-reduced environment.
  • Food and beverage: Digital menus will be available to view on personal mobile devices via QR code. Virtual queues will be in place for guests when immediate seating is unavailable. Guests will receive a text message notification when their table is ready.

MGM Resorts is working with Shannon Magari as its lead health and safety advisor for this process. Magari is the vice president of health sciences for Colden Corp., an occupational health, safety and environmental firm. Magari obtained her Master of Science from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College and received her doctoral training and served as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, specializing in occupational epidemiology.