Potawatomi to reinstitute mask policy beginning Sept. 9

Potawatomi Hotel & Casino's mask policy will be reinstated beginning Thursday, Sept. 9.

Guests will be required to wear a mask in most public spaces inside Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, including the Northern Lights Theater, which is scheduled to re-open Sept. 21. Team members have been required to wear masks since the re-opening of the property in June 2020.  

Potawatomi Hotel & Casino will distribute masks to guests requesting them. They are available at any of the property’s entrances. 

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The CEO said this wasn't an easy decision but one that was important.

"We just feel it’s in the best interest of our team members and our guests, given the current rising cases and transmission rates, to move back to a temporary mask mandate," said Dominic Ortiz, CEO.

A number of other policies and initiatives to mitigate the virus remain in place. They include:

  • Plexiglass dividers between slot machines.
  • No smoking throughout the casino.
  • Increased frequency of cleaning and sanitizing in all public spaces with an emphasis on high contact surface areas.
  • Hand sanitizer stations located throughout the property.
  • Signage located throughout the property reminding guests to social distance and abide by other COVID-related protocols.

"We’ll have fresh signage at the properties and remind guests we will have free masks available to insure that we comply with this policy," said Ortiz.

With cases of COVID-19 on the rise and new variants spreading, Potawatomi is part of a growing list of places once again requiring masks, from city and county facilities to grocery stores.

"I think we all need to double down on what we’ve been doing," said Dr. James Conway, UW Health. "We’re all tired of it. I hate wearing a mask like everyone else.  We know what we need to get through this, and we need to take this delta variant very seriously."

Milwaukee County is in the extreme transmission category, averaging about 260 cases and two deaths per day.

Potawatomi officials are not rolling the dice – taking the risks seriously.

"Hopefully, this will only be short-term," said Ortiz.

Potawatomi remains non-smoking --something put in place during the pandemic. People will be allowed to take their masks off while eating and drinking.


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