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Barona Casino to begin phased reopening on Wednesday

Barona Resort and Casino is the eighth tribal casino to restart operation in San Diego County.
Barona Resort and Casino photo from 2009

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Barona Resort and Casino announced their re-opening plan Monday, which welcomes patrons back to the casino on Wednesday after a two- month closure due the coronavirus pandemic, casino officials said.

Other tribal casinos began re-opening their doors this past week, despite disapproval from county officials. Tribal casinos are on federally regulated land, outside the county's jurisdiction. Barona Resort and Casino is the eighth tribal casino to restart operation in San Diego County.

Barona's first phase of re-opening will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Table games will be limited to a maximum of three players per table and every other slot machine will be turned off to further encourage space between players.

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Patrons and staff will be screened for high temperatures and symptoms of the novel coronavirus before entry, a casino report said. All will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing.

"Our first concern is always the health and wellness of Barona's Tribal elders and Tribal community along with all of our staff, our players and surrounding community," Chairman Edwin "Thorpe" Romero of the Barona Band of Mission Indians, said.

One of the casino's restaurants will run at half capacity and its hotel will maintain a 35% capacity, casino officials said. The buffet will remain closed as will the casino's bussing service and wedding chapel.

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