A couple of the managers of casino in the state say they are aware of the H1N1 virus, but it is not an overriding concern. Joe Massa, general manager of the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, says the have taken notice of the disease and taken precautions.

Massa says they are using hand sanitizers and doing more cleaning in public areas of counters and slot machines because of the flu.

Massa says casinos had already had some hand sanitizers out anyway for those customers who had concerns before the H1N1 outbreak. He says they also work with employees to keep them from being a source of the flu. Massa says they require people who are ill, or have a fever to stay home. He says they have areas where employees can be checked for a fever and sent home if they have a problem. Massa says they try to keep up on every potential problem, and H1N1 is no different.

“It’s there and we think about it, it’s not an overwhelming concern, there’s so little information really out there to deal with it and what you’re supposed to do,” Massa says. He says everyone is obviously waiting for the H1N1 vaccine and they offer seasonal flu vaccinations to employees. At the Isle Casino Hotel in Waterloo, Bari Richter says they take much the same approach.

Richter says they have additional hand sanitizers out to help prevent the spread of disease. She says they have also changed their attendance policy to be sure employees stay home if they are ill, so they don’t spread H1N1 or the seasonal flu. Richter says it’s natural to take an interest in the potential to spread H1N1.

Richter says, “Anytime you have something that is addressed so often in the media, you tend to be more diligent, and more just aware of it, I think we all are much more aware of it,” Richter says. She says they try to do the right thing as soon as they have the information to act on it. Richter and Massa say the use payout tickets used now for machines instead of coins, helps minimize the possibility of spreading the flu and other diseases in the casinos.