Caesars employee dies days after positive COVID-19 test
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A Caesars Entertainment employee has died after testing positive for COVID-19, according to a company spokesperson.
Now, his family is seeking justice, faulting the company for failing to protect their employees properly.
In a statement provided by a company spokesperson late Friday, Caesars confirmed the personnel death.
“Sadly, we can confirm that one of our colleagues has passed away after testing positive for COVID-19. We are heartbroken by this development and are expressing our deepest sympathies to their family and friends. While we have not been able to determine how the employee contracted the virus, once the employee informed us about testing positive, the company implemented its protocols to determine who had been in close proximity with this individual at the direction of the Southern Nevada Health District. As a result, a small number of employees were identified to be in this category and are now on paid leave while self-isolating. None of these individuals, to our knowledge, have tested positive at this time. They will not return to work until they obtain a negative test result.”
The employee who passed was 51-year-old Adolfo Fernandez, his daughter Irma confirmed to FOX5 Friday night. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 Monday, June 22 and died Wednesday, June 24 at Sunrise Hospital, Fernandez said.
He was a utility porter and a member of the Culinary Union Local 226, his daughter said during a small vigil held outside the Fernandez home. Irma works as a housekeeper at the Venetian. His family said he worked at Caesars Palace.
“I am going to fight for justice because he told me constantly that they are not using the correct safety precautions at work,” Fernandez said. “They are not protecting their employees.”
On June 24, the same date as Fernandez’ death, Caesars implemented a company-wide mask policy.
“Everyone indoors at its properties across the Caesars network will be required to wear masks at all times, except when eating or drinking,” the media release stated. “The updated mask policy becomes effective on June 24, 2020 at 12 p.m. Pacific Time and applies to all employees, vendors, contractors, guests and passersby in properties. Previously, all employees plus guests at table games were required to wear masks at Caesars properties.”
Before his death, Fernandez said her father suffered a severe amount of work-related stress and body aches, before his system shut down.
“Little by little he was fading away,” she told FOX5. “His death was so painful.”
Fernandez said he had two cardiac arrests after testing positive. However, prior to the diagnosis, the fear for his safety did not prevent him from working. He was providing for a family, Fernandez said.
“He was exposed during his daily routine at work at Caesars Palace,” Fernandez said. “He did it to support his family. He was a great dad and a great hardworking man. A big-hearted human. And my dad, he fought hard.”
Now, the household has been exposed. Irma’s mother has contracted COVID-19, as well as her cousin. To keep her children safe, Fernandez said she’s housing the kids in a hotel as a safety measure.
“It came to my house and infected my family members,” Fernandez said. “I don’t want to lose both of my parents.”
According to the family, the culinary union has invited Fernandez to speak about her father’s death on June 29. On Monday, the group will file a lawsuit against major Strip properties for what the union has called a failure to protect employees from COVID-19.
As of Saturday morning, 13,174 coronavirus cases were reported in Clark County by the Southern Nevada Health District. Of those positive cases, 1,947 are hospitalized patients, with 410 total deaths since the outbreak began in the state in March.
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