Concerns about rising Delta variant cases just forced at least one Oregon casino to shut its doors again, canceling a slew of traditional end-of-summer celebrations, which typically draw Willamette Valley dwellers.
Chinook Winds in Lincoln City announced that it would be closing at 6 pm on Thursday, Aug. 12, due to the state’s soaring COVID-19 cases. That temporary halt is expected to last at least through Aug. 25, though the facility says it may last longer depending on whether the virus continues its rapid spread.
“Despite the progress we have made to vaccinate our team, their families and the community, increases in cases in the county and state have led us to make the difficult decision to close our operations‚” general manager Michael S. Fisher stated on the venue’s social media platforms. “We will pay our team members through this two-week closure. We look forward to welcoming our guests and team members back as soon as it’s safe to do so.”
The shutdown applies to the gaming floors, hotel, restaurants and golf course. Several events are also affected, including standup comedy shows originally scheduled for this weekend and the Surf City Oregon Coast Customs Car Show as well as an audio competition slated for Aug. 22 that normally packs the venue and its parking lot with attendees.
Chinook Winds says it will refund all room fees and entertainment tickets.
The resort isn’t the only Lincoln County business that is abruptly halting service due to the pandemic. On Aug. 11, Newport Brewing Company shared on its Facebook account that it was closing after a COVID-19 exposure. The brewery will have all of its employees tested during the suspension and aims to reopen by Tuesday, Aug. 17.
According to Lincoln County’s Heath & Human Services website, 130 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past two weeks. The previous two-week count was 39 positive tests. That means, on average, the number of new cases each day now stands at 9.29 compared with 2.79 two weeks earlier.