IPI employees, patrons OK’d to wear masks

Posted on Mar 02 2020


Edward Deleon Guerrero

The Commonwealth Casino Commission has issued a waiver to allow the employees and casino gaming patrons of the Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC to wear surgical masks as a safety measure due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In an interview last Thursday, CCC executive director Edward Deleon Guerrero said they don’t order IPI employees and its gaming patrons to wear surgical masks, but have allowed them to do so.

Not hats, though. Deleon Guerrero said they cannot allow employees and patrons to wear hats because of the very detailed surveillance system in place in the casino.

He said it is his understanding that the coronavirus threat has already closed down 41 casinos in Macau. The coronavirus first arose in Wuhan, China, and has rapidly spread worldwide.

Deleon Guerrero said that Macau first started by requiring all employees and patrons to wear masks. Macau then realized that’s probably not going to be effective enough, so they closed down all 41 casinos, as per regulations, he said, adding that Macau has already lifted those restrictions and allowed the casinos to re-open a few days ago.

“And it’s my understanding that some have opened and some have voluntarily decided not to open,” he said.

Deleon Guerrero pointed out that, as per many health advisories, there’s a greater chance of spreading the virus whenever there is a large number of people congregating in one confined location, like in a casino.

He said CCC actually has a policy that employees and patrons are not supposed to wear mask or hats or anything but the CCC gave IPI patrons and employees and CCC employees this exemption and allow the surgical masks as they think it’s prudent to do something to make sure CCC and IPI’s own staff would not contract the virus.

“So that’s an issue that we’re saying, ‘Well, this is…a safety issue, it’s a common-sense issue.’ So we did issue a waiver to allow people to protect themselves,” Deleon Guerrero said.

He said only surgical masks are allowed, not other types of masks.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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