“Two casinos on the Navajo Nation will reopen this week as the tribe eases its restrictions on businesses amid a downturn in coronavirus cases and high rates of vaccination. All employees must test negative for COVID-19 before they return to work and be retested at least every two weeks.” F. Fonseca, ICT, March 17, 2021
Excerpt: By Felicia Fonseca, ICT, March 17, 2021
“The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise has four casinos but will open only two Friday and limit patrons to those who live on the vast reservation that stretches into New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.
The enterprise will keep Fire Rock east of Gallup, New Mexico, and Northern Edge in Farmington, New Mexico, open for two weeks before determining whether to reopen two other casinos — one in northwestern New Mexico and the other east of Flagstaff.
‘What it’s intended to do is demonstrate that all our safety protocols, which we know are very, very comprehensive, are in place, the program is going to work and keep everyone safe, and then we can open it to a broader audience later,’ Brian Parrish, the enterprise’s interim chief executive, said Wednesday.
The casinos will operate at 25 percent capacity with no food or drink services and only within the time allowed by the tribe’s nightly curfew.
Service lights on the slot machines will let customers request that the machines be sanitized.
Smoking will be allowed only in designated outdoor areas. Social distancing will be enforced throughout the properties.
The casinos also are setting aside a couple of hours on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings for elderly patrons.
Customers must wear masks, get their temperatures checked and provide contact information if they needed to be reached later.
Handheld devices will be used to swipe driver’s licenses to ensure customers live on the reservation, Parrish said…The tribe is planning a virtual day of prayer Friday to remember those who have died and been infected by the virus.”
COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR NATIVE AMERICANS
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act
Apply for NCAI Relief Funding
Center for Disease and Control (CDC): COVID Data Tracker: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations
Indian Health Services (IHS): COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution List https://www.ihs.gov/coronavirus/vaccine/distribution/
Indian Health Services (IHS): Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine: https://www.ihs.gov/coronavirus/vaccine/
NCAI’s COVID-19 Response Fund (Donate) With the generous support of our donors, NCAI is providing financial relief support to tribal nations affected by COVID-19 through NCAI’s COVID-19 Response Fund for Indian Country.