EL PASO, Texas -- The Speaking Rock Entertainment Center, a tribal run recreational venue in El Paso's Lower Valley, said Tuesday night it would continue operations but was shutting down its bars.
"Please be assured that Speaking Rock Entertainment has scaled up our efforts and strategies on mitigating the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus). In an abundance of caution and an effort to reduce even further chances we are closing our bars and sales of alcohol," said a statement posted to the center's website.
The decision by the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo native American tribe comes after the El Paso Health Department ordered the closure for two weeks of all bars in El Paso County.
However, since the events center sits on tribal land, the tribe had maintained it was not subject to the county's directive. Tribal representatives couldn't immediately be reached for comment about their decision to ultimately follow the county's lead.
Meantime, a memo to Speaking Rock Entertainment employees obtained by ABC-7 said the tribe is taking every precaution with the cleaning and sanitizing of its facility to keep workers safe while the center remains open.
But the memo goes on to offer a voluntary layoff to employees who aren't comfortable working there. The tribe said it would pay out unused PTO to those employees and ensure they are eligible to collect Texas unemployment benefits.