The Quinault Indian Nation announced the closure of the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino and the Quinault Sweetgrass Hotel for two weeks to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Tribal casinos and other tribal enterprises in Washington are owned and managed by sovereign nations and were not subject to the emergency measures put into place by Governor Inslee this week. Following his announcement however, numerous tribal nations announced measures to address the statewide emergency
The casino closure went into effect at 2 am this morning.
Both the Quinault Beach Resort and the Quinault Sweetgrass Hotel announced a closure at 11am today.
After two weeks, the Nation will re-evaluate the closure and decide whether it should continue. Casino, resort, and hotel employees will continue receiving their regular pay and benefits during the closure.
To confront the challenges of COVID-19, the Quinault Indian Nation says that they have adopted the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s standardized response model known as the Incident Command System to organize the Nation’s response to the pandemic. This system gives organizations a template to organize and coordinate their efforts that has been proven effective and efficient in confronting disasters and emergencies.
The Quinault Nation has announced the members and responsibilities of its Incident Command Team for the COVID-19 crisis:
From a release:
The Incident Command Structure’s Goal: To Provide Order and Clarity During Crises
A pandemic affects many different aspects of our lives and requires a carefully organized response. The health of our children, elders, tribal employees, and many others depend on it.
The first meeting of the Nation’s Incident Command Team was held by phone this morning to address our most urgent concerns about surviving this global health crisis and to ensure every member of the team has a clear understanding of their responsibilities and goals. Updates will continue to be issued daily when helpful.
The Quinault Indian Nation has survived much worse crises than this. Our tribal government now has a response structure and emergency management team in place that will effectively deal with this one. That expertise combined with our ancient strength and wisdom ensures our people will be safe and well cared for many generations to come.