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Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana orders mask mandate, following Gov. Edwards’ statewide mandate

Face coverings will now be required on all Tribal grounds and for all visitors to Paragon Casino Resort
Paragon Casino in Marksville, La.
Paragon Casino in Marksville, La.(The Ehrhardt Group / Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana)
Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 4:07 PM CDT
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The following information was provided to us by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana via The Ehrhardt Group:

MARKSVILLE, La. – Due to health and safety concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana’s Tribal Council has announced a mask mandate, starting at 5 p.m. on July 14, for Tribal grounds and Paragon Casino Resort in accordance with Gov. John Bel Edwards’ recent mask mandate for the State of Louisiana. Though Gov. Edwards’ mandate covers the State of Louisiana, it does not include Native American tribes; however, as a sovereign nation, the Tunica-Biloxi leaders have acted in the best interest of the Tribal members and the community at large by adopting the mandate.

Per a revised Phase Two proclamation signed by Gov. Edwards, the Tribe’s order requires face coverings for everyone ages eight and older with the exception of anyone who has a medical condition that prevents the wearing of a face covering, anyone who is consuming a drink or food, anyone who is trying to communicate with a person who is hearing impaired, anyone who is giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience, anyone temporarily removing his or her face covering for identification purposes and anyone who is a resident of a parish without a high COVID-19 incidence that has opted out of the masking mandate. Masks are still strongly recommended for children ages two to seven years old.

“Out of an abundance of caution, as a Tribal Council, we have decided to implement a mask mandate for the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana that is in keeping with the statewide mandate,” said Marshall Pierite, Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe. “The health of our Tribal members remains a top priority and we will continue to encourage members to wear coverings and to practice social distancing in hopes of reducing the spread of COVID-19.”

As the Tribe requires all Tribal members to follow the mandate, Paragon Casino Resort will also now require all guests, above the age of eight years old, to wear face coverings while at Paragon. Masks may only be removed while consuming food or beverages, in the privacy of a guest’s hotel room or an employee’s office and while smoking in a designated smoking area. Paragon’s designated smoking area will be across from the buffet and guests may smoke in the privacy of their hotel room. Until further notice, these are the only locations that smoking can occur on the premises.

The only guests exempt from this are those with a medical condition preventing them from wearing a mask, those who are communicating with someone who is hearing impaired, those who are giving a speech to an audience of less than fifty and those who are asked by security or the Tribal police to remove their masks for identification purposes.

Additionally, the bars operating at Legends Steakhouse and the Atrium Bar at Paragon and the CyberQuest arcade have been ordered to close and Paragon will not hold any events, gatherings or conferences with more than fifty attendees.

Paragon staff members have been required to wear a face-covering since its reopening on May 20 following Louisiana’s Phase 1 reopening plan. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, Paragon leaders have been closely monitoring government policy changes, Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, government mandates and public health advancements and have continued to adjust strategies to protect guests and employees.

“Throughout this difficult time, we are doing everything that we can to ensure the health and safety of our Paragon family and patrons, as well as our Tribal members,” said Marshall Ray Sampson, Vice-Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. “We feel as though requiring masks for all Paragon visitors is in the best interest of our guests, employees and the residents of Marksville.”

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Council and Paragon leaders are continuing to stay in contact with local, state and federal leaders surrounding COVID-19. Both leadership teams are continuing to monitor the situation and will respond accordingly. For continued updates, visit – https://www.tunicabiloxi.org/ or follow the Tribe on Facebook.

Copyright 2020 The Ehrhardt Group. All rights reserved.

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