Friday, May 1, 2020 / by Ken Couture
All Wynn Las Vegas and Encore employees will have access to free COVID-19 testing starting Monday.
Wynn Resorts Ltd. announced Wednesday that the company partnered with University Medical Center to provide the testing at UMC-designated locations at no cost to Wynn Las Vegas employees.
“This will ensure that Wynn employees that would like to be tested will have access to reliable and accurate COVID-19 testing well in advance and leading up to the opening of the resort,” the company said.
On Wednesday, Wynn CEO Matt Maddox discussed the partnership at a business roundtable with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other executives.
Maddox said an expansion of testing capacity in Las Vegas allowed the company to form the deal, noting that the university hospital has gone from “a couple hundred tests a day to 10,000 tests a day,” enough so that they “didn’t have enough people to test.”
“So I signed a deal with them to allow all Wynn employees to get tests anytime for free,” Maddox said.
Earlier this month, Maddox laid out a vision for reopening Las Vegas and noted an increase in COVID-19 testing speed as a key point.
“The main obstacle on the list above is widespread testing. Our state, the medical community, the Task Force and resort industry leaders are focused on ways to vastly enhance testing and I anticipate it will happen over the coming week,” Maddox said at the time.
Wednesday’s announcement comes as Culinary Local 226 bargains with casinos for employee protection and pay during the coronavirus outbreak, according to union spokeswoman Bethany Khan. The union has members employed at several casinos across the valley, including Wynn’s properties.
The union’s proposals include retraining workers on how to safely deal with chemicals and equipment and providing every worker with adequate personal protective equipment.
“So far (Wynn Las Vegas and Encore have) agreed to proposals,” Khan said, adding that the union continues to negotiate with MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, Sahara Las Vegas, Treasure Island and Westgate to take similar steps, including paying workers during closures and keeping their health care intact until they’re brought back to work.
Caesars spokesman Richard Broome said the company is “still working on reopening plans” and declined to comment on COVID-19 testing for staff.
A Sahara representative said it anticipates a “phased approach” to reopening and “will follow an extensive list of health and safety protocols ” for the well-being of guests and staff. The property is working with outside experts and seeking guidance from the Nevada Gaming Control Board to “fine tune” its reopening plans.
Representatives for the other companies mentioned did not respond to a request for comment.
“Amid the coronavirus crisis, we demand stronger safety standards and double down on our mission to hold companies accountable when they put profits over people,” Khan said. “Workers will be the reason we get through this pandemic, and workers have to be protected.”
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