MGM Resorts shutting down Las Vegas buffets amid COVID-19 outbreak

The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino is seen February 20, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. ( Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images )

MGM Resorts announced it would temporarily close its buffets at all of its Las Vegas properties as part of the company’s efforts to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

“MGM Resorts will temporarily close buffets at ARIA, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Luxor and Excalibur, effective Sunday, March 15,” said a spokesperson for the company. 

When asked what would happen to the buffet employees, the spokesperson added that “all employees will work directly with MGM’s Labor Relations department to assist with any employment changes, transitions or questions as part of the temporary Buffet closure process.”

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In response to the growing threat of the virus, MGM Resorts said it has put in place “enhanced cleaning procedures and protocols.”

The protocols include an increase the frequency of disinfectant procedures on things like faucets, slot machine handles, toilet flush levers, doorknobs and locks as well as anything guests’ hands might be touching at their casinos and resorts. 

On March 10, the company also released a statement regarding a man who died from COVID-19 who worked for the Standardbred Owners Association based in the Yonkers Raceway race office in New York, which is owned by MGM Resorts.

"We just learned that an employee of the Standardbred Owners Association, working in the racing office of Yonkers Raceway, located next to the racetrack and paddock, tested positive for the coronavirus before passing away," said the company. 

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According to the statement, the company believes that the last time the man was on work property was eight days before the announcement. 

Following the news of the man’s death, the racetrack was immediately shut down and employees who worked in the area were asked to self-quarantine.