By Steve Powell
The Tulalip Tribes will be closing all gaming operations through March 31.
Tribal chairwoman Teri Gobin announced March 16 that the Tulalip Resort Casino, The Q and the Bingo Hall will close due to concerns about the coronavirus COVID-19.
Also, tribal government and Quil Ceda Village will reduce staff onsite and work from home as much as possible. And, they are postponing the General Election and Annual Tribal Council.
“It is not an easy decision that we make, but it is necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of our people and community,” Gobin said.
The Stillaguamish Tribe also will close its Angel of the Winds Casino Resort at 6 a.m. Tuesday.
A news release says team members will continue to receive pay and benefit. During the closure, the property will undergo an intensive deep cleaning with the goal to reopen April 1.
Once reopened, it will continue cleaning standards that exceed recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state, Gov. jay Inslee, and tribal health organizations to help ensure COVID-19 is contained.
Previously, because of Inslee’s ban on gatherings of more than 250 people, the Tulalip Resort Casino canceled three concerts: March 27, Orleans + Firefall; April 10, Grand Funk Railroad; and April 24, Daughtry. Tickets will be reimbursed through Ticketmaster or through the Tulalip Resort Casino Box Office if tickets were purchased there.
Live entertainment and dining options were available, but limited to 250 guests or fewer at each facility.
Meanwhile, Inslee announced March 16 that all restaurants, bars and entertainment establishments need to close starting March 17 due to COVID-19.
As sovereign nations, the Tulalip and Stillaguamish tribes did not have to respond to that order.
As a result of Monday’s edict, the Marysville YMCA closed until the end of the month.
Many restaurants already were offering “to go” meals for people uneasy about sitting in eateries with others.
Friday Inslee forced all schools in the state to be closed for six weeks. Previously that applied only to Snohomish, King and Pierce counties.
Residents should be getting Census information and are encouraged more than ever to use the new online form rather than wait for someone to come to their door due to the virus.
Grocery stores are still selling out of many items, mostly toilet paper and cleaning supplies.
Many students who are out of school are seeking babysitting jobs to make money and help families who are in sudden need of child care.
Some businesses are trying innovative ways to keep going. For example, Arlington Tire Pros will pick up and drop off vehicles within 10 miles of its store.
Beginning March 17 Lakewood School District will be delivering packaged breakfasts and lunches to designated bus stops for students to access during the school closures.
Delivery will be between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Superintendent Scott Peacock said Monday they plan to deliver 2,000 breakfasts and 2,000 lunches.
At the end of the routes, all unclaimed meals will be dropped off for distribution to the community at Faith Lutheran, Reclamation and Smokey Point churches, along with at Jake’s House.
Bus drivers and paraeducators will put in hours packing meals for students.
Inslee also has required school districts to provide child care for parents who are first-responders and health care professionals. Peacock said the state didn’t provide much guidance for that.
“It’s clear as mud,” he said.
School staff will be meeting Tuesday to discuss that, along with how to provide students with learning support over the six-week closure. Peacock said that probably will include online and paper learning materials.
“A lot of kids don’t have access” to computers at home, he said, adding the materials will review and enrich information they already have learned.
“We’ll wrangle all that together,” Peacock said. Teachers will “fulfill their obligations as professionals that is reasonable in light of health considerations.”
Effective March 16, most city buildings are closed to the public. People are encouraged to do business online, by email or by phone if possible.
Marysville schools were offering meals from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Marysville police are suspending non-essential programs and asking people to do more business with them by phone, rather than in person.
The school district is offering meals at Arlington High School and President’s Elementary. Pre-order at 360-618-1631 so they know how many meals to prepare.