Oregon Tribe Claims It Was Discriminated Against After Coronavirus Shutdown

Oregon Tribe Claims It Was Discriminated Against After Coronavirus Shutdown

An employee of the Wildhorse Resort & Casino in Umatilla County in Oregon was recently tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) after which the casino was shut down. Now, the casino operators are crying foul and alleging discrimination.

Indian tribes allege discrimination

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) claims that the authorities discriminated against them in shutting down its casino last week for sanitization. The tribe suggests that it is being snubbed by some firms in the hospitality and food services industries, naming a local Domino’s Pizza branch and The Red Lion Hotel in Pendleton.

Oregon Tribe Claims It Was Discriminated Against After Coronavirus Shutdown

On March 2, The Red Lion posted a sign which read,

“Due to the recent Coronavirus scare at the Wildhorse Casino & Resort, we are unable to accept guests and/or reservations that have been previously at the Resort until further notice. Sorry for any inconvenience.”

Note that health officials in Oregon have advised older citizens and other people with pre-existing health conditions to avoid traveling and stock up on food and medical supplies. However, it hasn’t urged businesses to refuse people who could have been possibly exposed to the infection. Note that Oregon has only 15 reported cases of confirmed infections compared to its neighbor Washington, which has already recorded 22 deaths.

Businesses concerned about the virus threat

It is understandable for businesses to be concerned about the spread of the virus and infecting their staff and premises. However, Chuck Sams, the spokesman for the tribes said that it is wrongful to connect the coronavirus with the Native American population. He pointed out that 90% of the indigenous population in North America was wiped because of contracting diseases from Europeans. He added,

“If there’s anybody that’s been devastated by diseases, it’s been the tribes.”

Sams’ outrage comes after a local branch of Domino’s Pizza refused to deliver to the staff cleaning up the Wildhorse casino. The outlet manager contested this claim and said that the pizza driver arrived at the spot to deliver and found the casino closed. He didn’t realize that that the pizzas were for the cleaning crews working inside. The manager said that she is taking these allegations from the tribes seriously and is considering consulting an attorney.

The Red Lion also talked about the allegations. The property’s assistant manager said that the sign was only put up during the 48-hour cleanup and should not be considered discriminatory because it was only a short-term measure.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.