Mohegan Sun partners with Connecticut to host mass COVID-19 vaccination site Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports · February 28, 2021 at 9:16 am Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, administrators at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, kept in touch with the governor’s office to keep informed about health-related issues and restrictions. When the tribal casino was recently approached about hosting a large-scale community vaccination site at its Earth Expo & Convention Center, there was no hesitation. “When the opportunity came for the Mohegan Tribe to work with the State of Connecticut on such a vital effort, we were eager to help,” said Jeff Hamilton, Mohegan Sun president and general manager, via e-mail. In partnership with Gov. Ned Lamont’s office, the Connecticut Department of Public Health, and the Yale New Haven Health System, the mass vaccination clinic at Mohegan Sun opened on Feb. 16. It’s estimated that by Friday the site will have administered 1,200 doses of vaccine. Hamilton said the clinic was embraced by the community and has benefited from press coverage. “Both of these items generate a significant amount of awareness of the new site,” Hamilton said, “resulting in an uptick of sign-ups for the groups currently able to schedule appointments (65+ at the moment).” The casino and resort leveraged the onsite vaccination site to relay information to its patrons and team members while also reaching out to the community through external messaging. Because Mohegan Sun is one of the largest employers in the region, most people have a familiarity with the casino, which does have one huge advantage over other vaccination sites. “We’re easy to get to with plenty of hassle-free parking,” Hamilton said. The mass vaccination clinic is just one prong in the Mohegan tribe’s efforts to combat the pandemic. Last fall, the casino opened a drive-up COVID-19 testing site, also in partnership with Yale New Haven Health, at one of its parking garages. That site is currently open seven days a week and available to all ages. The Mohegan Tribal Health Department also oversees a separate clinic for members of the Mohegan Tribe with vaccines provided by Indian Health Service (HIS). The casino hosted several food drives, donated thousands of meals to employees and community members, and made its Expo Center available when the Connecticut National Guard assisted the Connecticut Department of Public Health to distribute masks, gloves, face shields, and gowns to residential care facilities, long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, and first responders. “The latest mass vaccination site shows the coordinated effort our state is making with our tribal partners, and our partners in healthcare,” Lamont said in a statement. “The Mohegan Tribe has taken incredible steps throughout the pandemic to keep its members and residents safe through standing up testing sites, the distribution of PPE, and coordination with the Connecticut Department of Public Health.” Across its property, Mohegan Sun has implemented stringent health and safety protocols. The Forbes Travel Guide recently recognized Mohegan Sun as one of the first casino resorts in the world to become Sharecare Health Security VERIFIED, a comprehensive facility authentication that indicates a property has appropriate health safety procedures in place. Mohegan Sun is the flagship resort Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, the tribe’s casino operating arm, which manages the gaming operations for Resorts Atlantic City; Indian casinos in Washington and Louisiana on behalf of other tribes; and the Fallsview Casino Resort on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. Mohegan Gaming also owns the Mohegan Sun Poconos in Pennsylvania and is opening Mohegan Sun at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas on March 25, becoming the first Native American Enterprise to operate a casino within the Las Vegas Strip corridor. Rege Behe is lead contributor to CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Please follow @RegeBehe_exPTR on Twitter.