Restaurants, Casinos, Gyms, Movie Theaters to Close in Tri-State Area Amid COVID-19 Concerns

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The governors of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York made an announcement about closings across the tri-state area amid coronavirus concerns on Monday.

Within the tri-state area, no gatherings will be allowed with more than 50 people, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said. This follows the newest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Because large events can fuel the spread of the disease, the CDC said gatherings of 50 people or more should be canceled or postponed throughout the country for the next eight weeks.

All casinos, gyms and movie theaters will also be closing at 8 p.m. on Monday, Gov. Cuomo added.

Gov. Cuomo and Gov. Phil Murphy said they will close commercial casinos at 8 p.m. on Monday. Gov. Lamont will also close the state's physical off-track betting facilities.

Gov. Ned Lamont and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said they are urging the tribal casinos in their states to close, however, it's unclear if they will be forced to close.

Mohegan Sun said it plans to close temporarily to the public and the Governor’s office and The Mohegan Tribal Council are in discussions on the closure of Mohegan Sun to the public.

Temporary closures that are set to be taken immediately include:

  • Race Book
  • Wolf Den
  • Earth Tower hotel
  • All slot machines in the Earth section of the casino
  • Poker Room
  • The majority of table games in the Earth section
  • Summer Valet
  • Autumn and Summer Essentials convenience stores
  • Seasons Buffet & Earth Food Court
  • novelle
  • Kids Quest / Cyber Quest
  • Bow & Arrow Sports Bar and all floor bars in Casino of the Earth 
  • Winter Player’s Club Booth
  • Bobby’s Burger Palace

During the closure, Mohegan Sun will focus on cleaning and deferred maintenance.

Mohegan Sun has decided to take additional actions property-wide, including the temporary closure of the Race Book, Wolf Den, Poker Room, Earth Hotel Tower, Seasons Buffet and novelle as well as the slot machines and vast majority of table games in the Earth section of the casino. All guest, charter and line bus transportation is also cancelled in the interim.  

In the Sky section, where gaming will continue until the temporary public closure, every other slot machine will be temporarily deactivated as an additional social distancing measure, the casino said.

"Working closely with and taking guidance from Mohegan Tribal Health officials and State and Federal health authorities, while continuing to increase the overall safety of our guests and team members, Mohegan Sun today announces significant changes to our operations,” Jeff Hamilton, president and general manager of Mohegan Sun, said in a statement. “These are difficult times the state and nation are facing, and as such, they bring about difficult decisions for Mohegan Sun and Mohegan Tribal leadership.”

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which runs the Foxwoods Resort and Casino, issued a statement on Monday afternoon.

"As a sovereign nation, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation has been in ongoing contact with the Governor’s office on continuous measures to combat the COVID-19 crisis. 

"From the start of the COVID-19 crisis, our Tribe has taken action to protect the health and wellness of our Team Members, patrons and Tribal Members.  We have already closed down various facilities, suspended bus transportation, instituted aggressive and thorough sanitation and cleaning processes, and initiated social distancing. We consider our Team Members and guests as members of our extended family and their safety is paramount in our minds. 

"As we continue to work with the Governor’s office we anticipate communicating more details by the end of the day," the statement says.

Restaurants and bars are also expected to close at 8 p.m. on Monday. Take-out services will still be available.

“Weeks ago, Connecticut restaurants began doubling down on cleaning procedures in order to protect our customers and our employees. In the wake of Governor Lamont’s announcement, local restaurant owners will continue to offer safe, clean service to customers via takeout, curbside pickup and delivery," Scott Dolch, executive director of the Connecticut Restaurant Association, said in a statement.

There are more than 8,500 eating and drinking establishments across the state and the restaurant industry employs more than 160,000 people, according to the association.

"In the weeks ahead, we look forward to returning to full service once this difficult period has passed, so that our industry can continue to be an enormous economic driver for the state, and continue to employ tens of thousands of people throughout Connecticut,” Dolch said in a statement.

All of these places will remain closed until further notice.

This comes as more than 850 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the tri-state area.

There are more than 2,900 cases of coronavirus in the United States and more than 156,000 cases worldwide.

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