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Last year the Indian Tradeshow and Convention brought together 5,000 in San Diego. Native News Online photo by Levi Rickert

WASHINGTON With less than two weeks until the opening of the annual Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention, the nation’s leading Indian gaming organization is planning to move forward with its annual event in San Diego as scheduled on March 24-27.

Despite the concern of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 — also called COVID-19 —  officials of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) say they are monitoring the situation on a daily basis.

In conjunction with NIGA’s exhibitors and in cooperation with the governments of the city of San Diego and state of California, the organization continues to plan and move forward to provide attendees with a safe and productive trade show environment that will showcase the $34 billion Indian gaming industry. 

The NIGA staff stands ready to answer any of questions or concerns. Below is what officials at the California Dept. of Public Health and the San Diego Public Health Administrator are saying: 

  • The California Dept. of Public Health is not recommending the cancellation of public events. The health risk from COVID-19 to the general public remains low at this time.
  • The San Diego Public Health Officer, Dr. Wilma Wooten, stated on March 08: "Closing large gatherings is not something that is prudent at this time."
  • California state and local health officials are actively working to help protect the health of visitors to the great state of California.
  • The CDC is not recommending cancelation of community events at this time if no COVID-19 cases exist within the community. 

“Our organization continues to closely monitor the Coronavirus outbreak in the United States and its impact on large gatherings. As of today, given the reassurances from local, State, and Federal, public health officials, and we are committed to providing a safe and entertaining venue to celebrate our Indian Gaming Industry. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected across the nation by this situation; however, we are looking forward to hosting a fantastic Tradeshow in two weeks,” Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr. stated in a press release distributed Monday night to Native News Online.

The deadline to book hotel accommodations is Friday, March 13. You can book your hotel through the National Indian Gaming Association official hotel company, CONNECTIONS Housing, at www.indiangaming.org/events. 

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