The Colorado River Indian Tribes are informing the public that an employee at the BlueWater Resort & Casino has tested positive for the coronavirus, COVID-19. This comes barely a week after the facility reopened on a limited basis following a closure that lasted almost six months.
It also happened in the week the United States officially topped 200,000 deaths from the coronavirus, even as the national recovery rate reached 96 percent.
In a statement on the Manataba Messenger Facebook page, it was said the employee tested positive on Sept. 22. The employee had worked at the Bluewater from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Sept. 15 to 17, and from 6 a.m. to 12 noon Sept. 18. This individual wore a mask at all times while working and had been screened daily for coronavirus symptoms.
The employee has not returned to the BlueWater and will remain on leave until testing negative for the virus.
The statement said all BlueWater employees potentially exposed have been notified of the possible exposure. In response to this recent exposure testing is being conducted on all employees of the Blue Water Resort & Casino and Tribal Gaming Agency. They said policies adopted with the limited reopening, like frequent sanitation, screening of employees and patrons and the use of face masks and other personal protective equipment, will continue.
“With the required use of face masks by staff and patrons, frequent sanitation protocols, and capacity limitations, the risk of transmission is low,” the Tribes’ statement said. “However, all employees and the public are urged to stay alert for the symptoms of COVID-19 and seek medical attention should they have any symptoms.”
The BlueWater reopened on a limited basis Sept. 14 after being closed since March 20 due to concerns over the coronavirus. Parking is limited to the area that was used for valet parking. Employees and guests are required to wear face masks. The only entrance for guests is the main entrance. Upon entering, guests have their temperature taken through a non-invasive scanning device.
Only the casino gaming floor and some of the restaurants have reopened. The hotel, marina, gift shop, beach and many of the bars and restaurants have remained closed for now. Smoking is limited to outdoor areas.
There have been 536 cases of the coronavirus among La Paz County residents, and 316 of those cases have been members of the Colorado River Indian Tribes. There have been 15 deaths, including seven Tribal members.
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, as of Sept. 23, there have been 215,284 cases of the coronavirus in Arizona, with 5,525 deaths.
Nationwide, the Worldometers website said there have been 7.14 million cases and 207,000 deaths. With 4.4 million people having recovered, this means a recovery rate of 96 percent on cases that have reached a conclusion. There are still over 2.5 million active cases in the United States. Just over 175,000 of those cases are in Arizona.