Rosie's develops health and safety plan to prepare for reopening

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VINTON, Va. (WDBJ7) The Rosie's Gaming Emporium in Vinton was weeks away from its one-year anniversary when the spread of COVID-19 and the state restrictions that followed forced Colonial Downs to close the doors.

WDBJ7 photo

In the weeks since, employees have served thousands of pizzas to frontline workers, and the company has planned for the day when it will reopen.

Ernie Dellaverson is general manager of the Vinton locaton.

"We've been working for the last seven weeks now on our Extra Care Program," he told WDBJ7, "and that's in anticipation, to reopen with the right procedures in place."

Dellaverson said those procedures will include temperature checks, extra sanitizing and social distancing, and acrylic shields at counters and between historical horse racing machines.

One big change: guests will have to make reservations for two-hour gaming sessions.

"You will enter into the building. You will be able to have two hours of enjoyment at that time and then that session will close," Dellaverson said. "And then we send out all of the troops and we wipe down all of the machines with the foggers and the sprays, and wiping down all of the buttons. It's a whole procedure within the Extra Care Program."

Dellaverson said the Vinton location receives 15 to 20 calls a day from people asking when the gaming center will reopen.

Rosie's has continued to pay its employees, and Dellaverson said they're looking forward to returning, once the state says it's okay, and the proper safeguards are in place.

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