Cherokee Nation temporarily closes museum locations, retail operations
TAHLEQUAH – With the increasing spread of COVID-19, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. declared March 16 a state of emergency in the Cherokee Nation as the tribe works to keep employees, citizens and community members safe.
As part of those efforts, all CN museums, retail operations and the Cherokee Heritage Center will temporarily close beginning March 17.
Temporary operational shutdowns include the Cherokee National History Museum, Cherokee National Prison Museum, Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum, Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum, John Ross Museum and CHC.
Additional operational shutdowns include CN Gift Shops in Tahlequah and inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, as well as CN-owned and -operated welcome centers in Catoosa and Kansas, Oklahoma.
All properties will remain closed until the end of the month, when CN officials will evaluate the safety and feasibility of reopening during this public health crisis.
The 49th annual Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale, and the Cherokee Art Market Youth Competition, both slated to open on April 4 at the CHC, are also being postponed. This includes the opening reception on April 3.
Employees will continue to be paid during this temporary closure and may be reassigned as necessary over the next few weeks.
As of March 16, according to the AP, at least 10 people in Oklahoma have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, according to the state Department of Health. Positive tests have been reported in Canadian, Cleveland, Jackson, Kay, Oklahoma, Payne and Tulsa counties, and health officials said there is evidence of community spread, which is when health officials aren’t sure how or where a person became infected.