The Washington Indian Gaming Association wants everyone to understand the careful precautions tribes are taking to protect health as the coronavirus crisis continues. Tribal governments recognize the significant risks of COVID-19 and have been working on the frontlines of the pandemic, adjusting business practices, safeguarding highly vulnerable communities and vaccinating tribal and non-tribal members.
In early 2020, tribes made the difficult decision to temporarily close casinos and many other business enterprises to ensure important protocols were in place to keep employees, guests and the community safe — forgoing vital revenue used to fund government services such as health care, education, elder programs, infrastructure and human services. After months of mindful planning and implementation, all tribal casinos in Washington were able to reopen at reduced capacity.
Specific steps will vary by facility, but measures being taken at tribal casinos include:
- Further limitations on the number of guests to support physical distancing,
- Mask mandates,
- Additional cleaning and disinfecting protocols,
- Enhanced ventilation and air purification,
- Modifying dining operations and encouraging takeaway service,
- Indoor smoking bans,
- Employee testing,
- Vaccinating employees, community members and patrons,
- Temperature checks, and
- Physical changes to facilities to support social distancing and safety.
Tribes will continue to monitor the situation and adapt their practices appropriately to protect health, the economy, jobs and communities.
Since this is a rapidly changing situation with unique circumstances for each community, it is best to reach out to individual tribes to learn more about specific safety practices .
Tribal Casino Resources
- Lower Elwha
- Port Gamble S’Klallam
- Shoalwater Bay
- Squaxin Island