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Southern California casinos tightening face mask policies



everal more Southern California casinos have updated the wording of their mask policies to say that items such as bandanas and gaiters are no longer acceptable face coverings during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Agua Caliente Casinos in Rancho Mirage and Palm Springs; Spotlight 29 and Tortoise Rock casinos; and Valley View Casino & Hotel have all made updates to the language on their websites further clarifying what kinds of face coverings are and are not acceptable, The Press-Enterprise reports.

In updates to their websites and on social media last week, the Agua Caliente Casinos announced that guests must have a face covering but that bandanas, gaiters and face coverings with vents or valves were no longer allowed. The social media post noted that face coverings are available upon request.

Mandatory Face-Coverings! Guests are required to wear a face-covering and are available upon request. Face-coverings with valves, vents, bandanas and gaiters are no longer allowed. Thank you!

— Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage (@AguaCalienteRM) September 4, 2020

Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella and Tortoise Rock Casino in Twentynine Palms, both owned by the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, announced via their websites that they would no longer be allowing the use of bandanas, neck gaiters or masks with valves or vents as of Aug. 28.

Valley View Casino & Hotel has been updating its guests on its safety policies through a letter from General Manager Bruce Howard. The language of the letter appears to have recently been updated to say that guests need a solid mask that “safely covers their mouth and nose as opposed to a bandana, scarf, handkerchief or neckerchief,” when they are seated or walking around the casino. The letter has had that wording since at least late August, but previous versions in June and July simply stated that both guests and employees were required to “wear an appropriate face mask.”

Multiple other casinos across Southern California have also updated their mask policies in recent weeks, including Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa; Pechanga Resort Casino; and Augustine Casino. In many cases, the casinos have been citing updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and studies that show that coverings such as bandanas and gaiters are not as effective as other kinds of face masks in helping prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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