- By Native News Online Staff
MONTANA, SOUTH DAKOTA, NORTH DAKOTA — Tribes in the upper Midwest reported the first confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 on their reservations this week.
The Fort Peck Tribes in northeastern Montana reported its first two positive cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday in a social media post. The cases are thought to be the first on any of Montana’s Indian reservations.
The tribes were formally notified by the Northeast Montana Health Services that two healthcare employees at the reservation’s Riverside Family Clinic tested positive for COVID-19, according to a Facebook post. Further details were not available but, consistent with standard protocols, an investigation is underway to identify any persons who may have been in contact with the persons that tested positive to provide appropriate instructions for self-quarantine or other measures.
Northeast Montana Health Services will issue a public statement regarding the confirmed COVID-19 cases with additional information, according to the post.
“The positive tests reinforce the necessity of all residents of the Fort Peck Reservation to comply with the April 3rd, 2020 Fort Peck Tribes Shelter in Place Order issued to correspond with the State of Montana’s Shelter in Place Order,” the tribe said in the statement.
The Fort Peck Reservation is home to nearly 6,800 Assiniboine and Sioux tribal members.
On Wednesday, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe was informed of its first confirmed positive test result for a tribal member. Yesterday, the tribe announced that the person had now tested negative and was fully recovered. (Facebook photo)
On Wednesday, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe was informed of its first confirmed positive test result for a tribal member. Then yesterday, the tribe announced that the person had tested negative and was fully recovered.
Thus far, 62 members of the tribe have been tested with 56 negative results and six pending.
The tribe is under a stay-at-home order, following a declaration of a state of emergency in mid-March. Chairman Mike Faith took to YouTube to reinforce the tribe’s shelter-at-home order, social distancing and curfew, especially for younger people who risk bringing the disease home to family members and elders.
“Too many people are staying out,” Faith said in the YouTube video. “This is not a game. This virus is deadly.”
The Standing Rock Reservation is located in North and South Dakota and is home to approximately 8,500 members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
As of this morning, there have been 536 confirmed positive cases and six deaths overall in South Dakota, according to the state’s health department. In North Dakota, there have been 278 positive cases and six deaths, according to that state’s health department.
Celebrating 10 years of Native News...
We launched Native News Online back in February 2011 with the belief that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. We hope it inspires you to celebrate our first decade with a gift of $10 or more to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.