Health & Education

Four casino employees test positive for COVID-19

10.14.2020 Dean Rhodes Health & Wellness, Spirit Mountain Casino


Tribal Council Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy reported that there have been five active COVID-19 cases connected to Spirit Mountain Casino during a Wednesday, Oct. 14, Facebook Live event.

Kennedy said the cases include four employees and one close contact to an employee. She said the employees worked behind the scenes and not on the gaming floor.

Three of the employees live in the same household and do not reside in the Grand Ronde community. They are currently being quarantined and the areas where they worked at the casino have been thoroughly cleaned.

“COVID-19 must be taken seriously,” Kennedy said, adding that the Tribe has the highest regard for the health and safety of its casino guests and employees.

Kennedy added that the Oregon Health Authority delineates an “outbreak” at a workplace as being two or more cases linked to the same worksite who have disease onset in the same 14-day period.

“We’re heartbroken that COVID-19 has touched so many members of our Tribal family,” she said. “As unfortunate as these recent cases are, it is also a reminder of the seriousness of this situation.”

Kennedy added that the Tribe is self-reporting the casino outbreak because of its sovereign status. “We believe this information is important. We are reporting it to remain consistent with the Oregon Health Authority’s practice.”

According to, the Tribal clinic has conducted 754 COVID-19 tests with 736 coming back negative. There have been eight positive retests of results from another county and 10 are new positive tests.