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Chumash Casino reports 11 cases of COVID-19 among team members

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Santa Ynez Chumash Casino Resort

SANTA YNEZ VALLEY, Calif. - The Chumash Casino Resort announced in a newsletter this week that 11 staff members have recently tested positive for COVID-19.

The resort said this uptick in internal cases follows the increase in cases throughout Santa Barbara County after the Thanksgiving holiday.

While there are currently 11 team members recovering from the virus, the casino said the cases are not connected and were not contracted at the resort.

The Sana Ynez Band of Chumash Indians released the following statement:

“As COVID-19 cases in Santa Barbara County have increased, that has also affected a small amount of our workforce – 11 out of nearly 1,700 Team Members. However, we’re confident in the systems we have in place to prevent the spread of the virus. 

We continue to have zero transmission of the virus within our facility. Like other businesses throughout the state, we have Team Members who’ve been exposed to the virus while outside of the workplace. 

We provide a weekly account of active cases to our Team Members and Guests to give them the most accurate picture of how the virus is impacting current business operations.

Our temperature checks are in place to prevent actively ill people from entering the building, and our facemask requirements, plexiglass barriers, social distancing rules, our high-tech air handling system (which boasts 100% air extraction), and our other Safe + Well measures all work toward preventing asymptomatic spread within the facility.” 

Kenneth Kahn, Tribal Chairman for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. 

This announcement comes shortly after the Chumash Casino said it plans to stay open through the stay-at-home order.

Tribal government operations are recognized by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and are included in the Governmental Facilities Sector, one of the 16 sectors deemed essential.

The resort said it will continue to practice strict COVID-19 precautions, including distancing, mask-wearing and hand-washing, to combat the spread of the virus.

More information on how the resort plans to protect guests and team members from the coronavirus can be found at

For updates and breakdowns of COVID-19 cases throughout the county, click here.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.


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