The Mazatzal Hotel & Casino in conjunction with the Tonto Apache Tribal Health Services recently completed its mandatory team member COVID-19 testing for all active Mazatzal Hotel & Casino team members.

A total of 173 tests were conducted Aug. 17-18 at the casino with zero team members testing positive for COVID-19, according to John Giles, marketing director for the casino.

These results are proof positive that the safety and health protocols implemented and executed by the amazing team members of the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino as well as the cooperation by guests are, and will continue to be, effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in the community, he said.

The casino reopened to the public May 21, 2020 after using the downtime dictated by state and federal authorities to deep clean the facility, rearrange machines for social distancing and develop the safe practices protocols that made the zero-positive tests among staff possible.

The enhanced safety measures include aggressive cleaning and sanitation guidelines, increased frequency of disinfecting restrooms, sanitizing gaming machines multiple times during shifts, as well as sanitizing door handles, doors, courtesy phones, tables, chairs and other high-touch and high-traffic areas multiple times a day and at the request of guests.

There are also numerous hand sanitizing stations throughout the casino and social distancing marks on the floors in front of the cage cashiers, Players Club, hotel front desks, kiosks, ATMs, beverage stations and the Grille. Additionally, protective shields are in close contact areas including the Grille, cage cashier, Players Club and front desk.

All team members are required to wear masks. Guests are also strongly encouraged to wear their own face masks. All visitors to the casino are required to undergo temperature screening prior to entering the facility. The only available entrance is the main door on the south side of the building in order to screen temperatures and check to see that guests are not exhibiting symptoms. The east side entrance and parking lot are still closed, only the south lot is open.

Initially the only food service was available in the Grille, several weeks ago, the casino reopened the Cedar Ridge Restaurant. However the Coffee Korner remains closed.

When it first reopened, there was no alcohol served in either the Apache Spirits Lounge or on the floor. While there is still no liquor service in the bar, only gaming, alcohol service is now available on the floor, however guests cannot eat at the machines or table games, Giles said.

The gift shop remains closed, but the hotel is open for guests.

Hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; from 8 a.m. to midnight Thursday; and from 8 a.m., Friday through 11 p.m. Sunday. There are no plans at this time to further expand the hours of operation. Keeping doors closed at night allows the team to deep clean and sanitize the casino in order to keep the community safe, Giles said.

Contact the reporter at tmcquerrey@payson.com

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