Yakima casino reports COVID-19 outbreak

YAKIMA, Wash. — The Yakima Health District is investigating a COVID-19 outbreak at the Casino Caribbean, where almost a fifth of the employees have tested positive for the virus.

“To date, there have been 19 out of 112 employees who have tested positive for COVID-19,” said Stephanie Badillo-Sanchez, Communications Specialist with the Yakima Health District.

On May 5, the health district was notified that 12 employees at the casino had tested positive. The casino voluntarily shut down temporarily on May 7 and had a business come to the site to deep clean the building the next day.

Health district officials have recommended that the casino:

  • Require that all employees get tested.
  • Require a negative test result, be fully vaccinated or have had COVID-19 within the last 90 days before returning to work.
  • Test employees on a weekly basis.
  • Continuously monitor staff for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Continue to ensure mask usage for staff and customers.

The casino reopened on Sunday with only those employees who have tested negative, are fully vaccinated or who have already had COVID-19 in the past 90 days.

KAPP-KVEW contacted Casino Caribbean officials, who said they had no comment at this time.

The health district said they have yet to determine the source of the outbreak, but haven’t received any reports of customers being affected.

“COVID-19 proves time and again that it can spread quickly in various settings,” said Dr. Larry Jecha, Interim Health Officer with the Yakima Health District. “We ask that people get vaccinated, and if they choose not to get vaccinated, to ensure that they are wearing a mask and maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.”

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