The Stockbridge-Munsee Community has a robust COVID safety plan. One cornerstone for testing the safety plans effectiveness along with transmission outside of the workplace is regular all employee testing events. The latest testing event took place on January 12th and 13th. On January 14th preliminary test results from the employee testing event resulted in 20 asymptomatic positive cases being identified. To ensure the safety of employees and customers while more testing and contact tracing data was accumulated, the Tribal Council decided to implement a precautionary pause in operations beginning at noon on Thursday the 14th and continuing until more data could be reviewed and analyzed.
The total number of positive cases within the Casino employee base is 24 positives out of 335 employees tested for a positive rate of 7.16%. The total number of positive cases within the Tribal Government employee base is 1 positive out of 247 employees for a positive rate of 0.4%. Both numbers are far below the numbers in our surrounding communities, but, still of concern because the Casino positive rate was noticeably higher than past all employee testing events.
The data continues to prove that Stockbridge-Munsee Community workplaces continue to be safe for employees and customers. There is no indication of COVID infections taking place within the workplace due to the robust safety program already in place. Unfortunately, the number of employees impacted by not only the asymptomatic positive cases but also the contact tracing efforts means that staffing levels for operational efficiencies required further analysis.
Given the very low numbers of employees effected by COVID on the Tribal Government side of operations means the government can reopen on Tuesday January 19th with no additional restrictions on operations.
The Casino will also reopen on Tuesday January 19th at 7 am. However, the impact on staffing at the Casino requires a further reduction in services until employees are cleared by appropriate medical staff to safely return to work. Until further notice, the Casino will only offer food to go from the Deli with the ability to consume the food in the Bingo Hall. Beverages from the Center Bar will be offered and can be consumed in the Orion Center. Slots will remain available, but Table Games and Bingo will remain closed. Capacity will be limited to 20% of building capacity. Finally, the Hotel will be restricted to 25% capacity on 2 floors only.
All of these protocols balance the need for operations to continue while still protecting the health and safety of employees, customers and our community.