Messages from the Chairman

May 27, 2020 - SENATE RESOLUTION ON COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS

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Dear Swinomish Reservation Residents,

Today, the Swinomish Senate passed a new continuing Resolution addressing COVID-19 precautions for residents and businesses on the Swinomish Reservation.

We take very seriously our responsibility to protect our community. I am pleased to say that with all of your help, our efforts to flatten the curve have been working.

Now, as we carefully and cautiously take the next steps in reopening our economy, we must continue doing all we can to maintain our momentum in our fight against COVID-19.

Our new Resolution replaces the prior Stay Home order and takes immediate effect. In this new Resolution, the rule of thumb is to play it safe. Practice social distancing. Wear face masks. Limit your contact with those outside your household. Continue staying close to home, and refrain from unnecessary travel outside our local area. When you do interact with others, stay outside and keep 6 feet apart. If you are high-risk, stay home as much as you can. Wash your hands. And if you aren't sure what is the right decision, just play it safe.

To provide guidance to both residents and businesses on the Swinomish Reservation, here is a brief summary of the Resolution:

High Risk Populations - Elders over 65 years old and/or with underlying health conditions Strongly encouraged to continue staying home
All Residents Travel outside home is allowed for:
  • essential activities
  • treaty hunting, fishing, gathering
  • employment in an essential business
  • visiting essential businesses
  • participating in Tribal programs and receiving Tribal services as available
  • outdoor activities (biking, walking, jogging, gardening or golf)
While outside your home, play it safe. Practice social distancing and stay 6-feet apart. Face masks are strongly encouraged.
Employers/Businesses Essential businesses designated below may operate with restrictions and a COVID-19 safety plan:
Existing
  • Health care
  • Grocery and C-stores
  • Food suppliers
  • Pharmacy and cannabis
  • Law enforcement
  • Government functions
New
  • Swinomish Casino & Lodge
  • RV parks
  • Golf courses
  • Retail
  • Fireworks stands
  • Some public works activity

As part of the Senate's Resolution, the Swinomish Casino & Lodge will be reopening with safety precautions tomorrow, May 28, 2020 at 8am. We are holding an invited guest event today. Operations at the casino will be strictly limited in a number of ways. We will operate at approximately 50% capacity; hours of operation will be 8am-2am; masks will be required by all patrons and staff; patrons and staff will have their temperatures taken as they enter the property; we provided COVID-19 training for all our team members before returning to work; and we will use new cleaning protocols to sanitize the property on a continuous basis. The lodge will be open, but some amenities will remain closed, including table games, keno, valet services, and 13Moons restaurant.

We are also the first casino in Washington to reopen with comprehensive COVID-19 testing for all our casino employees before their return back to work. Our public health team advised us that testing employees is one of the best ways to protect the health and safety of our staff, guests, and the community. We will continue testing after we reopen and will continue to cover the cost for our team members.

I want to be clear - we are not out of the woods yet. The Senate will be carefully monitoring the public health data as we take these new steps in our COVID-19 journey together, and we will go where the data leads us. Stay safe and stay healthy - and remember, when in doubt, play it safe.

Sincerely,
Steve Edwards, Chairman

Messages from the Chairman