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Wind River casinos closing due to COVID-19 surge in Fremont County


CASPER, Wyo. — The Northern Arapaho Business Council announced on Friday, Nov. 6 that tribal casions and other gaming facilities will close due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in Fremont County.

“The Wind River Hotel & Casino and other Tribal gaming facilities will be temporarily closed beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Nov. 9, and continuing through Nov. 30,” the Northern Arapaho Business Council said. “It is hoped the establishments can re-open on Dec. 1, if conditions warrant. Casino employees will continue to be employed, though some may temporarily transition into other roles during the closure.”

The release said that no layoffs, furloughs or pay reductions will be implemented at this time.

Fremont County has a total of 401 active laboratory confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 as of Friday, according to the Wyoming Department of Health. The state as a whole added a record 917 new lab confirmed cases on Friday.

There were also a record 147 COVID-19 in hospitals across Wyoming on Friday, according to the WDH.

Northern Arapaho Business Council Chairman Lee Spoonhunter said there has been “no indication the casino is a source of virus spread in our community, but Tribal health authorities have urged the Business Council to temporarily close these facilities due to surging case numbers in Fremont

Spoonhunter was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this week, but the Northern Arapaho Business Council said his symptoms have been mild.

“He is in quarantine and continues to work on behalf of the Northern Arapaho Tribe,” the release states. “Also beginning Monday, Nov. 9, some Tribal departments will be open to the public reduced hours in order to prevent people from congregating and protect against COVID-19.”

“Other offices will temporarily be closed to the public or conduct business via telephone only. Offices with reduced hours – including Enrollment, Finance and others – will be open to the public every weekday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Critical departments and services, such as sanitation, food delivery, elder services and law enforcement, will not be affected.”

The Wyoming Department of Health provides COVID-19 case, variant, death, testing, hospital and vaccine data online. The department also shares information about how the data can be interpreted. COVID-19 safety recommendations are available from the CDC.