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Encore Boston Harbor opens COVID-19 vaccination clinic

The Encore Boston Harbor in Everett.
The Encore Boston Harbor in Everett.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff/file

Encore Boston Harbor on Tuesday opened a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in partnership with its home city of Everett and the Cambridge Health Alliance system.

A spokeswoman for the casino said the site would be able to vaccinate about 300 people daily, 8:30 and 4 p.m., in the facility’s Picasso Ballroom.

“We want to help residents of Everett and our surrounding communities receive the vaccine as quickly and conveniently as possible,” Brian Gullbrants, president of Encore Boston Harbor, said in a statement. He praised the partnership with the city and the health system. “Together we hope to aid in our state’s health and economic recovery,” Gullbrants said.

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The site is not taking walk-ins, so people interested in getting vaccinated there should check for availability on the state’s vaccination finder website, or call the Cambridge Health Alliance COVID-19 vaccination hotline at 617-665-2100.

Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria said people who have appointments can use Encore’s shuttle buses to get to the vaccination site.

“I’m grateful for Encore for opening up their space and to CHA for providing these much-needed services,” he said in a statement.

The clinic will also be vaccinating Encore employees, according to Loretta Lillios, director of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau, who described the program at a commission meeting Monday.

Encore’s parent company, Wynn Resorts, has made similar efforts in its hometown of Las Vegas, where the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas opened a vaccination clinic in January. The company has been focused on getting its staff vaccinated, but it has also offered shots to eligible members of the general public.

The company’s public health efforts come as Wynn is trying to do what it can to beat back a virus that has been calamitous to the industry. The COVID-19 pandemic shuttered casinos for months, and they are still not close to full operations.

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Even as gaming revenues in Massachusetts are rebounding, casinos are working with a limited offering of table games, and no poker rooms. Conferences and large live entertainment events are still mostly forbidden.

On Monday, Lillios said the state’s three gambling sites have shown “continued adherence to the measures that have been put in place for health and safety and they really haven’t let up.”

Assistant enforcement director Bruce Band said April 17 and April 24 — both Saturdays ― were the busiest days in recent weeks for Encore and MGM Springfield. MGM hit 21 percent occupancy on those days and Encore maxed out at 19 percent each day, he said.

Band said April 16 and April 23 ― both Fridays ― were the two busiest days for Plainridge Park Casino, topping out at 31 percent occupancy.

Material from State House News service was used in this report.


Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @andyrosen.