Oregon Casino Closes After Employee Tests Positive for Coronavirus

  • Wildhorse Casino worker tested presumptive positive for COVID-19 
  • Full sanitization of casino in progress to avoid further contamination
  • Health officials tracing employee's recent interactions to curb virus spread
lab blood sample tests positive for coronavirus
Oregon’s Wildhorse Casino is temporarily shut down for cleaning after an employee tested presumptive positive for coronavirus. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Premises closed to curb contamination

A casino in Oregon has now closed its doors due to potential contamination as the coronavirus continues to spread at a steady pace in the US.

An employee of the Wildhorse Casino in Pendleton tested “presumptive positive” for COVID-19, prompting the closure. The facility will remain closed for cleaning in an attempt to avoid further infection.

Full sanitization of the property

Officials of the Umatilla Tribe, the operator of the Wildhorse Resort & Casino, decided on Monday to close and fully sanitize the property. The plan is for the gambling venue to reopen once the cleaning process is finished. The sanitization could take up to two days to complete. Other area facilities are also closed for cleaning.

sanitization could take up to two days to complete

According to tribal spokesman Chuck Sams, the position of the infected casino employee does not put him in general contact with patrons of the venue. Sams added that the community is greatly concerned about the coronavirus diagnosis.

Attempts to contain the virus spread

Reports indicate that the casino employee who may be infected is from Umatilla County. The presumptive positive test result to the coronavirus means the test was positive in a laboratory. Confirmation of the diagnosis must still be provided by the CDC.

The worker is currently in a hospital in Walla Walla. Health officials are trying to determine where the patient might have interacted with others in recent days, working quickly to reach those who may have been in close contact with him.

The employee also recently attended a youth basketball game at the Weston Middle School in Weston, where anyone in attendance is now at risk of the virus. The gym where the game took place has been closed and is undergoing a deep clean.

a case of community transmission

Officials are calling this coronavirus occurrence a case of community transmission, meaning it may have been picked up locally. No connection has been found regarding international travel at this time.

Global impact on casino gambling

The coronavirus is affecting the casino industry abroad and may potentially cause harm in the US as the virus continues to spread.

VSO News reported on Monday that casinos in Macau posted their worst-ever monthly figures, with gross gaming revenues for February falling by 88% year-on-year. The island’s gambling facilities shut down for a fifteen-day period to contain the outbreak. Sanitary measures are in place since their February 20 reopening.