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Some Atlantic City casinos reopen today; Pa. mask order causes Parx to ban smoking; 6 states break coronavirus records

Philadelphia Inquirer logo Philadelphia Inquirer 7/2/2020 By Rob Tornoe, The Philadelphia Inquirer
a person standing in front of a building: Parx Casino in Bensalem, Pa. has barred smoking indoors due to Pennsylvania's new mask mandate. © DAVID MAIALETTI/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS Parx Casino in Bensalem, Pa. has barred smoking indoors due to Pennsylvania's new mask mandate.

Significant updatesFace masks are now mandatory in all public spaces in Pennsylvania.Philadelphia is pausing some of its reopening plans and will not allow indoor dining or gyms and fitness centers to open Friday as previously planned. The city will, however, let indoor shopping malls, casinos, museums, and libraries reopen Friday, with precautions in place.Philadelphia museums are starting to announce reopening dates.New Jersey will allow a swath of activities — including casinos, water parks, playgrounds, amusement parks, museums, and libraries — to reopen today.New Jersey asks travelers coming from 16 states to quarantine for two weeks once they reach the Garden State. Philadelphia has a travel advisory involving 15 states where cases are surging.Track the latest data on the spread of the coronavirus in the Philadelphia region here.Atlantic City casinos begin reopening

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Patrons line up to get into the Hard Rock in Atlantic City on July 2, 2020. It had been closed due to the coronavirus since March. © Alejandro A Alvarez/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS Patrons line up to get into the Hard Rock in Atlantic City on July 2, 2020. It had been closed due to the coronavirus since March.

// Timestamp 07/02 7:40am

For the first time since March 16, Atlantic City casinos began reopening their doors Thursday morning thanks to loosening coronavirus restrictions in New Jersey.

Hard Rock, Golden Nugget, Ocean, Resorts, and Tropicana all opened their doors this morning to gamblers. There are capacity restrictions and guests aren’t allowed to drink or eat food inside. Smoking is also be banned indoors due to face mask requirements.

Bally’s, Caesars, and Harrah’s are planning to reopen Friday morning at 10 a.m.

Borgata, the city’s most popular and profitable casino, will remain closed rather than hold an invitation-only soft opening as previous planned today.

“Our guests expect a special experience when they come to our property and if we cannot provide that level of hospitality, we feel it best that we remain closed until such time that the Governor lets us know it is safe to offer food and beverage,” MGM Resorts International, the parent company of the Borgata, said earlier this week.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Patrons line up to get into the Hard Rock in Atlantic City on July 2, 2020. It had been closed due to the coronavirus since March. © Alejandro A Alvarez/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS Patrons line up to get into the Hard Rock in Atlantic City on July 2, 2020. It had been closed due to the coronavirus since March.

Amusement parks, museums, and libraries will also be allowed to reopen today in New Jersey.

— Rob Tornoe

Parx Casino suspends indoor smoking due to Pa. mask mandate

// Timestamp 07/02 7:20am

Parx Casino will temporarily suspend indoor smoking on its casino floor starting today due to Pennsylvania’s new mask mandate.

The casino, which reopened to customers on Monday, said smoking will still be allowed on its outdoor patios.

On Thursday, Gov. Tom Wolf ordered that masks must be worn in all public places where people cannot stay reasonably apart, saying coronavirus upticks were occurring where people “were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing.”

Pennsylvania makes masks mandatory in all public spaces— Rob Tornoe

U.S. tops 50,000 new coronavirus cases for the first time

// Timestamp 07/02 7:00am

For the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the United States added over 50,000 new cases in a day as the number of infected Americans continues to surge.

The U.S. added 50,655 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. That eclipses a high of 45,255 new cases reached on June 26.

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Over 2.6 million Americans have contracted COVID-19, and at least 128,062 have died, by far the most deaths of any country on the planet.

California, Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia all broke single-day records for new cases yesterday. At least 22 states — including New Jersey and Delaware — have paused or rolled back reopening plans.

— Rob Tornoe

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