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Casinos to reopen July 5 with precautions in place

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
Fire Rock Casino patrons are met with this sign after the Navajo Nation’s four casinos were shut down due to concerns over the coronavirus. All four of the tribe’s casinos are scheduled to reopen on July 5.



Gamblers waiting for one of the four Navajo casinos to open will have to keep waiting.

The slated reopening, which was supposed to be Monday, was extended to July 5, according to a news release from Michele J. Crank, Executive Director of Communications and Public Relations, Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise  

Crank stated the Navajo Gaming board approved the extension on Thursday night.

Gaming board Chairman Quincy Natay said the board will continue working with the tribal president’s office.

Crank said all four Navajo casinos will be cleaned and sanitized and health and safety precautions for casino patrons and its employees that “exceed industry gaming standards.”

A survey was sent out asking patrons about concerns regarding the coronavirus. Their feedback would be “incorporated in the reopening protocols,” she said.

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Interim CEO Brian Parrish said “exhaustive due diligence” was undertaken to ensure the health and safety of its customers and employees.

Crank listed a number of measures that would take effect when they reopen, including employees being required to wear masks. Patrons would be issued a mask if they do not have one, but would not be required to wear one.

Employees will be trained on infections, disease prevention, and mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

Crank said the casinos would operate at 50 percent capacity, require six feet social distance, instruct everyone to keep hands washed, have hand sanitizer available and other precautionary measures.

Devices to detect a person’s temperature will also be used on everyone, the press release stated.

“Patrons and team members with temperatures of 100.4 or higher will not be allowed to enter,” the release said.

About The Author

Donovan Quintero

"Dii, Diné bi Naaltsoos wolyéhíígíí, ninaaltsoos át'é. Nihi cheii dóó nihi másání ádaaní: Nihi Diné Bizaad bił ninhi't'eelyá áádóó t'áá háadida nihizaad nihił ch'aawóle'lágo. Nihi bee haz'áanii at'é, nihisin at'é, nihi hózhǫ́ǫ́jí at'é, nihi 'ach'ą́ą́h naagééh at'é. Dilkǫǫho saad bee yájíłti', k'ídahoneezláo saad bee yájíłti', ą́ą́ chánahgo saad bee yájíłti', diits'a'go saad bee yájíłti', nabik'íyájíłti' baa yájíłti', bich'į' yájíłti', hach'į' yándaałti', diné k'ehgo bik'izhdiitįįh. This is the belief I do my best to follow when I am writing Diné-related stories and photographing our events, games and news. Ahxéhee', shik'éí dóó shidine'é." - Donovan Quintero is assistant editor of the Navajo Times, and an award-winning Diné journalist, who is based in Window Rock, Arizona. He can be contacted at


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