COVID exposure found at upstate New York casino

Joseph Spector
New York State Team
The Yellow Brick Road Casino in central New York announced expansion plans Dec. 11, 2019. Here is a rendering of the new amenities

ALBANY - A person who recently visited the Yellow Brick Road Casino in central New York has tested positive for COVID-19, local officials said.

The Madison County Health Department said Thursday the individual visited the Oneida Nation casino in Chittenango on Sunday, Oct. 11 between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The customer was wearing a mask, the health department said in a news release.

The health department said, "Anyone who visited this location during the identified times should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19." 

"Those symptoms include fever, cough, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and/or difficulty breathing." 

The county said that if symptoms develop, a sick person should stay home and contact a doctor for guidance on testing. In the event of an emergency, call 911.

"It is important that residents remain diligent and continue to do their part to limit the spread of COVID-19," the health department said.  

"Please protect yourself and others by wearing a face covering when you are out in public, especially when you are unable to maintain social distancing."

The three Oneida Nation casinos in central New York, including its flagship Turning Stone in Verona, reopened in June after being shuttered in March amid the pandemic.

The casinos reopened with safety precautions, such as social distancing measures and requiring masks to be worn.

Joel Barkin, a spokesman for the Oneida Nation, said the Yellow Brick Casino, like all of its properties "have comprehensive and stringent health and safety protocols, including mandatory face covering for guests and employees." 

"The effectiveness of these protocols is why since we reopened in June, there has been no retransmission cases tied back to any of our venues," he continued.

"This example further reinforces why the health and safety protocols we have in place are so important and will continue."

The state's other privately owned casinos were allowed to open Sept. 9 with similar safety regulations, including limiting capacity.

Madison County said it partners with SUNY Upstate Medical University to hold COVID-19 diagnostic mobile testing clinics. The next test dates are Oct 22 in Cazenovia and Oct. 29 in Wampsville.

Testing is available to anyone interested at no cost to the patient. They are by appointment only.

Anyone who would like to be tested can call 315-464-2582 and select option 0 to set up an appointment.

More:Casinos set to reopen in New York. What to know before you go

Joseph Spector is the New York state editor for the USA TODAY Network. He can be reached at or followed on Twitter: @GannettAlbany

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