(SAN DIEGO, CA) March 18, 2020 — Tribal government leaders of the Barona Band of Mission Indians, Campo Kumeyaay Nation, Jamul Indian Village, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation and Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians today jointly announced that they are temporarily closing their casinos amid concerns over the Coronavirus (COVID-19) beginning on Friday, March 20 at noon through the end of the month. The Tribes are united in this decision to close for the health and well-being of the community, their guests and approximately 9,000 employees. Despite this closure, it is their hope that they can continue to provide emergency services for their respective communities. As uncertainty escalates, the Tribes have determined this is the best course of action. They are following the COVID-19 outbreak as it progresses and will take further necessary precautions as their Tribal governments deem necessary.
Additionally, effective immediately, the Jamul Indian Village of California has issued a declaration of emergency due to the COVID-19 crisis. The Tribe is in the process of temporarily closing tribal government offices and tribal businesses. This declaration will allow the Tribe to take emergency actions to minimize the threat of a potential outbreak and spread of COVID-19 on the Tribe’s reservation, and to help formalize emergency actions already underway. The Tribe has committed to cover base pay and benefits for team members during the closure for up to two weeks so that they may continue to pay their bills and provide for their families.
Chairwoman Erica M. Pinto confirmed that, “Pursuant to our tribal law, we declared a State of Emergency today to protect the health and welfare of Tribal Members, Tribal employees and the greater community. We are ready to assist federal, tribal, local and state agencies with emergency preparedness and disaster response related to this COVID-19 global crisis.”