Oregon Casino Temporarily Closes, New COVID State Mask Mandate Begins

Posted on: August 13, 2021, 04:32h. 

Last updated on: August 13, 2021, 01:01h.

Oregon’s Chinook Winds Casino Resort shuttered starting on Thursday and will remain closed at least until Aug. 26. It is because of the risk from COVID-19, particularly the contagious Delta variant.

Employees will continue to get paid
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, pictured above. She has mandated a new face mask COVID policy in the state. One Oregon casino has opted to close for at least two weeks. (Image: Mark Graves/The Oregonian)

The Lincoln City tribal property closed starting at 6 pm yesterday. The decision was made by the Siletz Tribal Council and Chinook Winds senior executives.

The closure was because of “the interest of public health and safety, in the face of COVID-19 and the Delta variant,” tribal officials said in a statement. “Despite the progress, we have made to vaccinate our team, their families, and the community, increases in cases in the county and state have led us to make the difficult decision to close our operations until August 26, 2021.”

Both the gaming floor and hotel will be closed. Casino restaurants and the golf course will shutter, as well.

In an interview, a player at the casino said he was told by a server that the closure was not because of an outbreak at the gaming property, KXL, an Oregon radio station, reported.

Employees will continue to get paid. The Chinook Winds Casino Resort is owned and operated by the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians.

On Wednesday, the Newport Brewing Company, located in Newport, Ore. announced it was closing after a COVID-19 exposure, the Willamette Week, a local newspaper, reported. All employees will be tested. The establishment hopes to reopen next Tuesday.

The recent jump in COVID-19 cases led Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) to mandate the wearing of facemasks while in indoor public areas statewide starting today.

Most casinos nationwide were shuttered for months last year because of the COVID outbreak. Most have reopened.

New COVID-19 Record in Oregon

On Thursday, the Oregon Health Authority reported 2,387 new COVID-19 cases. That was a record for the entire pandemic.

In total, 236,698 cumulative cases of COVID were seen in Oregon since the start of the outbreak. Also, 2,928 people have died in Oregon from the illness.

State officials further reported on Thursday that 670 patients were in Oregon hospitals because of COVID-19. Some 177 of them were in intensive care units.

Oregon Lottery Encourages Vaccinations

In May, Brown announced the “Take Your Shot, Oregon” give-away cash campaign. In it, the state will give away nearly $1.9 million it got from COVID-19 stimulus money to individuals who have been vaccinated.