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Health departments warn of possible exposure to COVID-19 at Lummi casino

FERNDALE, Wash. — Whatcom County Health Department and Lummi Public Health Department issued a joint press release this afternoon, March 13th, about a potential public exposure with a person who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

According to the release, the public exposure occurred on March 10th, between 11:30am and 1pm at the Silver Reef Casino Buffet and was discovered while investigating possible exposures of a laboratory-confirmed positive patient.

We know that COVID-19 is most likely to be transmitted to close contacts of a person with COVID-19. This is when people have been with someone with COVID-19 for at least 10 minutes within 6 feet of that person or had contact with any secretions through being coughed on or in direct physical contact. People who did not have close contact with this individual have no greater risk of infection than the general public. 

Lummi Public Health Department and the Whatcom County Health Department are investigating the potential exposure for Lummi Nation and Whatcom County residents. Individuals who are identified as having close contact with the known case will be communicated with directly and provided with supportive information and direction on how to protect their health and that of the wider community.

For people who were at The Silver Reef Casino Buffet on March 10th and have concerns about their individual circumstances, they are invited to contact the Whatcom County Health Department at 360-778-6100 or the Lummi Public Health Line at 360-383-8251.

For people who were at The Silver Reef Casino Buffet or at the Silver Reef Casino and do not think they had close contact with this individual, we recommend they take the same precautionary measures as the general public:

• Stay home when you are sick. 
• Wash your hands frequently and don’t touch your nose mouth or eyes. 
• Avoid large crowds and gatherings. 
• Take particular care to protect people 60 years and older, people with underlying health conditions and pregnant people. 
• Preserve our healthcare resources for those who most need them.

Whatcom County Public Health Nurse Supervisor Judy Ziels said in an email that the laboratory-confirmed positive patient is not a resident of Whatcom County.

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