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Friday, September 22, 2023
Sept. 22, 2023

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Cowlitz Tribe bans indoor smoking at ilani casino

Tribe cites COVID-19 pandemic as reason behind change

By , Columbian business reporter

ilani has banned indoor smoking due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Clark County casino resort announced over the weekend. The ban took effect Saturday morning and will remain in place until further notice.

A press release from the casino stated that the decision was prompted by “the increased rate of infection in our region and continued uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 virus.”

“It’s the right time, and it’s the right thing to do for our team members, our guests, the Cowlitz Tribe and our entire community,” Cowlitz Tribe Chairman William Iyall said in a statement. “The health of our members, and indeed that of everyone who is a guest of our homeland, is our first concern.”

The casino closed in mid-March due to the pandemic and reopened in late May, touting a host of new health safety features intended to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus including temperature check stations at the entrances and mandatory face masks for all staff and guests.

Guests who wish to smoke will have access to designated covered outdoor smoking areas, according to the press release, including a new outdoor area next to the building’s meeting and entertainment center, featuring beverage service and lawn games. The new area debuted shortly after the casino reopened.

ilani has confirmed two cases of COVID-19 among its staff in the six weeks since it reopened, one on June 12 and the other on July 9. In late June, the casino received notice from Washington’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration office outlining health safety concerns raised by an employee complaint.

Columbian business reporter