ADA — All six Chickasaw Nation gaming facilities in the state will reopen Wednesday to limited capacities.

Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby made the announcement Friday that all of the tribe’s facilities will open at 25 percent of capacity 8 a.m. Casinos will be closed daily from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. for cleaning and disinfecting.

Restaurants and bars will reduce seating capacity to maintain six feet of distance between each seated group of guests.

“We have a responsibility to ensure our facilities remain safe places for our employees and patrons as we reopen,” Anoatubby said in a statement. “Therefore, our leadership team has developed a comprehensive plan with numerous levels of protection in place to protect the health of our employees and patrons.”

All six casinos were shuttered in mid-March as precaution against the spread of COVID-19.

“We continue closely monitoring the data and consulting health professionals in an effort to maintain the most effective containment measures available and minimize any possibility of resurgence,” Anoatubby said.

Anoatubby said reopening preparations began weeks ago and include employee testing, alterations to facilities and employee training to ensure enhanced disinfecting protocols and safety procedures are implemented effectively.

Chickasaw Nation Commerce Secretary Bill Lance stated the tribe has conducted initial testing and screening on all employees, vendors and partners. Also, employees will undergo a screening protocol daily before reporting to work, and employee testing will be continued every two weeks using commonly accepted scientific methods for population sampling.

The gaming facilities will also implement responsible distancing policies, enhanced cleaning protocols and will limit casino gaming floors to 25 percent of capacity. Casino personnel will check the temperatures of all patrons entering each facility and will deny entry to those with a confirmed temperature of 100.4°F or higher.

Guests and employees will be required to wear protective face coverings at all times.

Table games, off-track betting, poker, bingo, entertainment options, WinStar Convention Center and other amenities will remain closed during phase one of the reopening.

Along with being the columnist of Soundemonium Musaic, Scott Rains is also a police, fire, Native Affairs and roller derby reporter for The Lawton Constitution.

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