LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Las Vegas resort and casino properties are taking extra precautions and changing policies due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19.

MGM Resorts International made the announcement Tuesday that they will be temporarily closing their buffets at their properties including ARIA, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Luxor and Excalibur.

The company said that “the safety and health of guests and employees continue to be top priority.” The changes will go into effect on Sunday, March 15.

MGM Resorts all of their 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.”

They are implementing temporary changes to their Benefits & Attendance Policies, including:

  • Waiving the required hours to maintain eligibility for benefits on health plans
  • If an employee calls off due to their child’s school closure, Attendance Days/Points will be waived, with documentation from the school

MGM Resorts sent a letter to employees with the full list of changes, you can read those in the image below:

MGM Resorts’ letter to employees regarding policy changes

Wynn Resorts enacted a similar policy saying that if an employee is diagnosed with coronavirus, they would be placed on medical leave of absence and would be paid for the duration of their treatment.

It is not clear how many workers would be affected by these changes. The Culinary Union, which represents about 60,000 workers, is sending requests to casino companies to meet immediately and bargain the effects of the virus.

Other resorts that 8 News Now reached out to says they are closely monitoring the situation.

Wynn Las Vegas says their buffet will have culinary staff serving guests at each station, that way guests do not need to touch the serving utensils.

“In addition, we are routinely cleaning all hard surfaces and have placed hand sanitizing stations at the entrance for guests to utilize prior to entry. All restaurants continue to maintain the highest possible standards of cleanliness.”

The Sands Hotel and Casino sent this statement, noting that the Venetian does not have any stand alone buffets.

“The health and safety of our team members and guests is our utmost priority. We, like all of you, are closely monitoring the developments regarding COVID-19. The situation is evolving rapidly and our Emergency Management Team works closely with local officials. We continue to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) for local direction.

The Venetian Resort does not have any stand-alone buffet restaurants.”

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas said the following after being asked if any of their restaurants will change how their food is handled:

“We are actively monitoring the situation while following guidance and recommendations from the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The safety of our guests and employees remains our top priority, and we will continue to assess and make adjustments as needed.”

SAHARA Las Vegas told 8 News Now that no employee hours or positions have been adversely impacted at this time.

The comfort and safety of our guests and team members are always our paramount concern. While Las Vegas and Southern Nevada are still considered low risk regions, we continue to closely monitor the global health response to COVID-19 and are in direct contact with the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) and LVCVA.  We are closely following all guidelines established by the SNHD, CDC and World Health Organization and have made additional enhancements to our already stringent sanitation procedures to ensure the safety of all guests. No employee hours or positions have been adversely impacted by the situation at this time.

SAHARA Las Vegas spokesperson

Caesars Entertainment said their buffets remain open.

8 News Now has reached out to other properties, but have not yet heard back on how they are responding to the coronavirus concerns.