Safety measures will be in place, opening will be at 50% capacity

FERNDALE — The Silver Reef Casino Resort will have a soft reopening May 21 at 50-percent capacity, the Lummi Nation announced Wednesday.

The casino will reopen “with enhanced cleaning measures and requirements for personal protective gear including face masks,” according to a statement released by the Lummi Nation.

“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Lummi Indian Business Council has had to make many difficult decisions to protect our people,” said Lawrence Solomon, Lummi Indian Business Council chairman, in the statement. “To protect the health of our members, we declared a public health emergency on March 3, issued a shelter-in-place order even before the State of Washington, we moved quickly to offer drive-thru testing, and implemented procedures for conducting contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation.”

Solomon said the Lummi Nation has seen a decrease in confirmed COVID-19 cases, and officials consulted with the Lummi Nation Public Health team to consider a partial reopening of the casino and resort.

“We are confident in our precautionary measures and our ability to mitigate and minimize risks to staff and patrons,” Solomon said. “We have stringent requirements for social distancing, personal protective gear for staff and patrons, and disinfecting in place, and we are committed to remaining vigilant in our efforts to combat the transmission of COVID-19 within the Silver Reef Casino Resort.”

 The Silver Reef’s enhanced protective measures include:

• Requiring guests to have a valid phone number to enter, and guests will stay in their cars until it’s their turn to enter the building

• Requiring valid ID

• Temperature checks for all guests

• Physical distancing including 50-percent capacity, six-foot separation between guests, plexiglass shields added across the property, only three players per table game, no touching cards and fewer machines and banks to allow social distancing

• The nonsmoking section has been enlarged by more than 200%

• Floor markers

• Hand sanitizer stations throughout the floor

• Floor cleanings multiple times per day

• Reduced seating

• The buffet will be closed

For employees, temperature checks will be done at the beginning of each shift, two reusable masks will be provided to staff to be worn at all times while on the property, hand-washing will be required before entering and leaving the casino floor, and gloves will be available if employees want to wear them.

“Silver Reef Casino Resort has been in constant contact with Lummi Health Department and engaging with local, regional and national health officials, and feel well positioned due to our enhanced cleaning techniques and technologies to open to the public,” said Marty Sauvage, CEO of Silver Reef Casino Resort. “We are following best practices from the CDC and have had our operating and sanitizing plan approved by Tribal officials.”