Tribal casinos in San Diego County contributed to the least 638 Outbreaks in the community between late June and mid-December, revealed an extensive report from local media.
Not a single property was spared
Highest number of virus outbreaks related to the two largest casinos in the county, Viejas Casino & Resort, operated by Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians 166, and Sycuan Casino & Resort, belonging to the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation 155, but literally none of the other 5 tribal gaming centers were spared.
Barona Resort & Casino in Lakeside, there were 102 cases Jamul Casino located 20 miles east of downtown San Diego added another 91, Harrah's Resort Southern California from 57 Valley View Casino & Hotel - 45, a Pala Casino Spa & Resort in data from 22 cases.
"While it is true that since the reopening of Viejas Casino & Resort it has become aware of some guests and team members who tested positive for COVID-19, these visitors and team members have typically interacted with many other people and places other than Viejas. Casino & Resort during the potential exposure period ”.
Tuari Bigknife, Legal Director, Viejas Enterprises
A case is defined as being related to a specific location whenever a person has been at that location within 2 weeks of a positive test or diagnosis of the virus, meaning linking the case to the location does not mean that the virus was infected there. A community outbreak is defined by 3 or more unrelated reported cases that are in the same location within the same 14-day period.
Constant continuous transmission
According to Christian Ramers, head of the population health department at Family Health Centers in San Diego, data on community outbreaks show "constant continuous transmission at these sites," which only facilitates "community-wide spread", acts as a "chain reaction" and prevents specialists health officer to get the situation under control. Other health officials have expressed concern about seniors who are most at risk of the virus and are among the casino's most die-hard customers.
Tribal casinos closed in March when the first wave of viruses struck and reopened in May, despite objections from state and county officials as tribes are sovereign entities and are exempt from state and county orders. Both Viejas and Sycuan have no plans to close again, despite a new order to stay at home since Gov. Newsom.
"As a tribal government, which is responsible for providing medical care, education, police protection, fire protection, etc. to our tribe members, we are the core company."
Adam Day, Administrative Director, Sycuan Casino & Resort
The reluctance of tribes to close their estates is not surprising given the impact of gaming on tribal communities, and prolonged periods of inactivity would be detrimental to them. Besides being major tax payers, generating over $ 3.5 billion of income for the state, the casinos also employ over 125 000 people across the state, making the relationship with the state "symbiotic."