Royal River Casino & Hotel & Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe Announce COVID-19 Testing for Team Members

Flandreau, South Dakota — The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe and Royal River Casino & Hotel are excited to announce a partnership with WorkFORCE Occupational Health, a division of Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital to roll out comprehensive COVID-19 testing for all team members.

After nearly two months of planning and dozens of taskforce meetings, the Royal River Casino & Hotel (“Casino”) along with the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe (“FSST”) is excited to announce the reopening of the Casino to the public at 8:00 A.M. on May 29, 2020.

The COVID-19 Task Force was formed in early February by the FSST Leadership with the focus of ensuring that all decisions pertaining to the COVID-19 Pandemic are being made using all available information and resources to protect the health and safety of our guests, team members, tribal membership, and surrounding community.

After the decision was made to close the property on April 1, 2020 the COVID-19 Task Force focused on studying the data and developing the Royal River Casino & Hotel Reopening Health and Safety Protocol Plan (“Health and Safety Plan”) clearly outlining the protocols that would be implemented for the successful reopening of the Casino.

To date no team member or guest of the Casino has been confirmed positive to our knowledge and the Casino has not had any known exposure to the COVID-19 Virus. Still the Task Force remains focused on taking every measure possible to make certain the public is safe when visiting the Casino. One important goal the Task Force identified early on was a desire to provide baseline testing to all team members prior to the public reopening of the casino. The goal to test all team members aims to achieve two main objectives. The first objective being the ability to ensure the public that no team members of the casino are returning to work while carrying the active COVID-19 Virus. The second objective of the baseline testing is to provide the State and Tribal Medical community with as much data as possible to better understand the exposure and spread of the COVID-19 Virus.

Thanks to the partnership with WorkForce the Task Force will be able to realize their goal of base line testing starting with the Casino team members on Thursday May 28, 2020. It is the goal of both the Task Force and WorkForce to quickly procure enough tests in the next week to extend this baseline testing to the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribal Enrollment as well as all FSST Enterprise team members.

Along with the baseline testing for all team members the Casino has implemented all of the protocols laid out in the Health and Safety Plan to ensure the safe opening of the Casino Property. It is the belief of Casino as well as the FSST Leadership that honesty and transparency are of upmost importance during this pandemic. In order to provide the level of honesty and transparency that we believe is necessary to ensure our guests and team members feel safe during their time on property the entire Health and Safety Plan is being published and made available to all members of the public, media, industry peers, and surrounding government on the Casino Website at prevention. It may be subject to change with additional advice that develops from the CDC or other applicable government agencies.

“We recognize that the information pertaining to COVID-19 continues to rapidly change and stay committed to adjusting our operating plan on a continued basis to ensure we are using the most up to date and relevant data and health protocols. I am excited to partner with WorkForce to offer a level of testing that was otherwise unavailable to our Tribal Membership and Enterprise Team Members” said Anthony Reider, FSST Tribal President

When asked what reopening the Casino to the public meant for the property Senior Director of Operations Tim Morrissey had the following to say. “Hospitality is our business, and it is important to us that you feel confident when choosing the Casino as your entertainment and travel destination. We are excited to be welcoming our guests back and ensuring they feel confident in the protocols we implemented to provide a clean and safe casino experience.”

General Manager James McDermott had the following to add when asked how he felt heading into the Friday public reopening “We have had a week long soft opening to give our team a chance to test out our Health and Safety Protocols. Our number one priority has always been and will continue to be the health and safety of our guests, team members, and the community. I feel extremely proud of the work our entire team has put into this process and am confident when guests return Friday they will be feel safe and be impressed with the protocols we have put in place.

About Royal River Casino

Royal River Casino & Hotel is owned and operated by the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe. Located just 30 minutes north from Sioux Falls, Royal River Casino and Hotel officially opened in 1990 and immediately became the premier entertainment destination in Southeast South Dakota. Today the property has grown to offer over 400 of the regions newest and loosest Slots, 10 live action Table Games, 2 Restaurants, 2 Casino Bars, a Gift Shop, 120 beautifully updated Hotel Rooms, as well as an RV Park and Convenience Store.

About WorkFORCE Occupational Health

Providing services personalized to your workforce needs, WorkFORCE Occupational Health and Medical Services is devoted to the prevention and management of injury, illness, and disability, and to the promotion of health and productivity of workers and clients. With two locations in Sioux Falls and the ability to provide onsite solutions to the business community WorkFORCE has formed relationships with many of the region’s top employers.