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LIVE UPDATES: Resorts Casino Hotel releases plans for safe opening amid COVID-19

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Resorts Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City

Resorts Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. July 9, 2018 (Craig Matthews / Staff Photographer)

The number of positive cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey has increased by 864, bringing the total to 163,336, Murphy said Friday. There have been 79 additional deaths, bringing the state total to 12,049.

There are 1,933 people hospitalized across the state, including 542 people in intensive care and 410 people on ventilators, Murphy said. Between 10 p.m. Wednesday and 10 p.m. Thursday, 204 residents were discharged from hospitals, while 192 people entered hospitals.

In South Jersey, there were 71 new hospitalizations, Murphy said, with 54 discharges.

Since the peak of the pandenic, the number of residents in hospitals across the state and those needing intensive care are both down 70% or more, ventilator use is down nearly 75% and new hospitalizations are down nearly 90%, Murphy said.

So far, Atlantic County has reported 2,369 cases with 168 deaths and 1,083 cleared as recovered. Cape May County has reported eight new cases for a total of 649 with 49 deaths and 431 designated off quarantine. Cumberland Count has reported 2,201 cases with 85 deaths.

Included in the totals are 21 new cases and three fatalities that Atlantic County officials reported Friday.

The deaths included three women: a 59-year-old Absecon resident, a 50-year-old Atlantic City resident and a 72-year-old Galloway resident, all of whom had underlying health conditions, according to a news release from county spokeswoman Linda Gilmore.

Among males between the ages of 6 and 76, they also reported 21 more positive tests. Eight were boys. Among women, there were 13 new cases between the ages of 17 to 81, Gilmore said. Five of the residents live in Atlantic City, four in Pleasantville and two each in Egg Harbor Township, Galloway and Hamilton Township. Brigantine, Folsom, Hammonton, Margate, Ventnor and Weymouth Township all recorded one case.

Atlantic County will continue its Covid-19 testing on Tuesday by appointment for symptomatic county residents with a doctor’s prescription, Gilmore said. Testing runs between 9 a.m. and noon behind the Public Works yard in Northfield at Rt. 9 (New Road) and Dolphin Avenue.

Appointments can be made online at

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Also during the briefing, Murphy that Motor Vehicle Commission offices will reopen June 15, with road tests and issuing of new licenses and permits tentatively scheduled to restart June 29.

“With the phased reopening of the Motor Vehicle Commission, we’re passing another important milestone on the Road Back,’’ Murphy said. “The MVC is implementing smart, innovative plans to safely deliver motor vehicle services to New Jerseyans as we continue the fight against COVID-19.’’

“The old MVC crowded a lot of people into a lot of small spaces. We can’t operate like that in a COVID-19 world,” said Motor Vehicle Commission Chair and Chief Administrator B. Sue Fulton. “Our reopening plan re-imagines MVC workflows, with streamlined processes to clear the backlog and ensure that you spend as little time as possible at MVC.”

He said that there will be an announcement Monday about the reopening of outdoor pools – both municipal and at private clubs.

The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control is seeking 10-day license suspensions for two local bars for violating emergency orders that prohibit on-premise consumption of food or alcohol.

The Black Cat Bar and Grill in Absecon and Robert's Place in Margate were both charged with allowing patrons or employees to eat or drink on licensed premises. Robert's Place received an additional $750 fine for mask violations.

Atlantic County officials released a list of COVID-19 testing sites Friday in addition to the Northfield site.

Southern Jersey Family Medical Centers

Merle Pavilion

932 South Main Street


Free Walk-Up Testing for Covid-19 and Antibody Testing with or without symptoms

Every Wednesday, 11 AM – 2 PM, weather permitting

Appointment Required. Call (609) 415-9865

Hammonton Center

860 S. White Horse Pike


Free Walk-Up Testing for Covid-19 and Antibody Testing with or without symptoms

Every Thursday, 11 AM – 2 PM, weather permitting

Appointment Required. Call (609) 415-9865

CVS Pharmacies

900 N. New Road



Free Drive-Thru Testing

Registration Required.

3313 Brigantine Blvd.



Free Drive-Thru Testing

Registration Required.


54 W. Jimmie Leeds Road


Drive-Thru Testing for those with a prescription from AtlantiCare primary physician or Urgent Care

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, 10 AM – 4 PM

Appointment Required. (609) 404-7300 or 1-888-569-1000

Health Plex

1401 Atlantic Avenue

Atlantic City

Call for information and eligibility. (609) 572-6055 or 1-888-569-1000

HealthMed Urgent Care

24 S. Carolina Avenue

Atlantic City

Appointment Required. Call (609) 345-8000

Atlantic City Residents Only

Surf Stadium

545 N. Albany Avenue

Atlantic City

Drive-Thru Testing on Friday for residents with a prescription or symptoms

Appointment Required. (609) 318-6990

Showboat Parking Lot

Between Delaware and Maryland Avenues, and Pacific and Atlantic Avenues

Atlantic City

Walk-Up Testing on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for residents with a prescription or symptoms

Appointment Required. (609) 318-6990

Resorts Casino Hotel has developed a Play Safe, Work Safe plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to responsibly welcome back guests and team members to the most comfortable, fun and safe environment, according to a news release.

“We want our guests to be able to enjoy the friendly and warm experience that has always been part of our core values but with the addition of new health and safety measures,” said Mark Giannantonio, President and CEO of Resorts.

The plan includes a significant capital investment to improve air quality, as well as clean and sanitize surfaces across the property, according to the release. This investment includes the installation of advanced bipolar ionization and UV technology to purify the air and clean surfaces.

“We are excited about being one of the safest destinations in our region upon reopening. We will be utilizing what research has shown to be the best sanitization and air quality technology available today,” Giannantonio said. “As we adapt to our ‘new normal,’ we have taken the steps to provide for the safety and well-being of our team members and guests.”

Advanced cleaning and decontamination efforts will be done and will include the following:

  • The installation of UV-C sterilization technology on all escalators to regularly eliminate bacteria and viruses on handrails.
  • Mobile ultraviolet light technology that is utilized in the nation’s top hospitals will be used to clean and disinfect areas including hotel rooms and public restrooms.
  • Advanced UV technology will also be installed in the air handlers to kill bacteria and viruses.
  • The installation of a bipolar ionization air purification system, which purifies and disinfects the air flowing into a space and reduces the spread of airborne viruses and bacteria resulting in healthier indoor air quality.
  • Servpro, a professional cleaning company, has disinfected and sanitized the casino complex with their patented electrostatic spraying process.

The Play Safe, Work Safe plan also includes measures to ensure the health and well-being of team members with mandatory health screening and temperature checks, according to the release. In addition, team members will be thoroughly trained on the CDC and industry-wide health and safety protocols upon returning to work. Team members will still be smiling but under masks and, in many areas, will be serving guests through a plexiglass barrier.

Guests can expect to enjoy first class hotel, dining and gaming experience with some new safety initiatives:

  • Hotel guests can utilize mobile express check-in and checkout.
  • Casino and hotel elevators will maintain a maximum occupancy of four people.
  • Social distancing will be seen throughout the property including on the casino floor where every other slot machine will be available for play and there will be limited seating at all table games.
  • Seating in Resorts-owned and tenant-operated restaurants will be reduced to provide a comfortable dining experience.
  • Hand sanitizer stations and hand wipes will be readily available throughout the property for the convenience of both guests and team members.
  • Resorts Casino Hotel will be ready to welcome guests back when the state indicates that we can open.

Additional information on safety protocols and reopening efforts will be forthcoming as Resorts Casino Hotel looks forward to welcoming back our valued guests, team members and partners soon, officials said.

Find additional updates on bookings, online gaming offerings, current promotions and more at

The Tilton Square Theatre in Northfield is reopening Friday for movegoers, according to a post on their Facebook page.

"We are opening our doors to the public tomorrow (Friday, June 5th). We will be strictly enforcing CDC guidelines to ensure the safety of moviegoers and our staff," according tot he post. "Our theatres will be limited to 30% capacity. Please wear a mask inside our lobby. You will be permitted to take your mask off once you arrive at your seat. If you feel sick or uncomfortable about being in public places, please stay at home. We will save a seat for you."

Tickets for all of our movies will be $6 and went on sale last night, according to the post.

The Ocean City Boardwalk Merchants Association released the findings for a survey Friday that show revenues in 2020 are down by more than 50% for more than three out of four Ocean City Boardwalk businesses.

The survey found that 100 percent of Ocean City businesses report having social distancing, safety and hygiene plans in place, according to a news release. Additionally, business owners overwhelmingly believed stay-at-home orders and business closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic were justified but are no longer necessary.

“We welcome Governor Murphy’s announcement that he will allow certain businesses to begin opening in the coming weeks, but we do not believe it goes nearly far enough for Ocean City Boardwalk businesses and the thousands of people we employ,” BMA President Wes Kazmarck said. “Our businesses – retail, restaurants and rides – are ready to open safely today."

The survey also found:

  • Workforce Reduction: 40% of Boardwalk businesses have cut their workforce by 26 to 50% this year, while 24% have cut their workforce by 91 to 100%, 20% cut their workforce by 26 to 50%, 12% have reduced the number of workers by 76 to 90%. Just 4 percent have cut their workforce by less than 10%.
  • Lost Business: 40% of Boardwalk merchants say revenues are down 51 to 75%, 24% say business is down 26 to 50%, 20 percent say it is down 76 to 90%, and 16% say business is down 91 to 100%.
  • Salvageable Season: 20% of Boardwalk merchants say the season is salvageable for their business, while 80% said it “depends on when we are permitted to fully open.”
  • Out Of Business: 12% of Boardwalk merchants said they have considered closing their businesses for good, while 80% said they had not. Eight percent were unsure.
  • Supportive Merchants: 84% of Boardwalk merchants said they believed the stay-at-home orders and business closures were necessary to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, while 16% said they were unsure. Conversely, 96% said the stay-at-home orders and business closures are not necessary today. Four percent were unsure.

“Our businesses may not be essential to Governor Murphy, but they are essential to us, our families and everyone we employ here in Ocean City,” Kazmarck said. “Ocean City’s Boardwalk businesses did our part. We followed by the governor’s executive order and shut down our businesses, delayed opening for the season and prohibited shoppers from entering our stores, eating in our restaurants or enjoying our rides. We simply cannot survive even another month of this. It is time to open all local Ocean City businesses. Today.”

Lower Township Mayor Frank Sippel said that officials are working with Cape May Ferry officials to show drive-in movies after a concert series was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are working with the Ferry Terminal to stand-up a weekly drive-in Movie Theater, where you can watch movies from your vehicle during the month of July," Sippel said in a letter to residents Wednesday. "There will be more details to follow from our Recreation Department."  

Gov. Phil Murphy is scheduled to make a “major announcement” Friday morning.

Murphy is scheduled to make the announcement at 10:15 a.m., according to a news release. Details on the announcement were not given.

State officials have also scheduled a 1 p.m. briefing Friday to update residents on the spread of COVID-19.

Appearing for the briefing will be Murphy, Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, State Epidemiologist Dr. Christina Tan, State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick Callahan and Motor Vehicle Commission Chair and Chief Administrator B. Sue Fulton.

So far, Atlantic County has reported 2,348 cases with 165 deaths and 1,083 cleared as recovered. Cape May County has reported 641 cases with 49 deaths and 431 designated off quarantine. Cumberland Count has reported 2,201 cases with 85 deaths.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness or death.

Source: State of New Jersey Department of Health

During Thursday’s briefing, Murphy announced that The number of positive cases had increased by 603, bringing the total to 162,530. There have been 92 additional deaths, bringing the state total to 11,970.

Murphy also signed an executive order to extend the Public Health Emergency for another 30 days.

“As we move forward with our restart and recovery plan, maintaining access to all resources available is essential,” Murphy said. “Extending the Public Health Emergency allows us to continue to work to save lives, while safely and securely reopening our state’s economy.”

The Strawberry Moon is Friday, where does the name come from?

Contact: 609-272-7241

Twitter @ACPressMollyB

Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

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