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YANKTON INDIAN RESERVATION — A tribal citizen of the Yankton Sioux Tribe, based in Wagner, S.D. has been diagnosed with COVID-19, commonly referred to as the coronavirus.

The person, who has not been identified, was on travel last week on behalf of the tribe and has been isolated at home according to an unnamed source.

The Indian Health Service (IHS) released a press statement late Wednesday afternoon announcing that a patient from Charles Mix County, S.D., is presumed positive for COVID-19.

On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, Tribal Chairman Robert Flying Hawk released the following memorandum that announced tribal employees were given administrative leave and tribal offices will closed until next Monday, March 16:

“The Yankton Sioux Tribe has made the decision to close all tribal entities from March 11, 2020 through March 13, 2020. All staff and offices are to re-open on March 16, 2020 for regular business.

This determination was to allow those entities to thoroughly clean and disinfect their offices, buildings and workspaces, equipment. Experts say, it is best to use bleach and soapy water or a disinfectant cleaner and open windows to air dry the location.  If there are no windows, then just allow the area to air dry.  

Local schools that serve the Tribe are also closing at the recommendation of the State. 

The Yankton Sioux Tribe has some 11,500 tribal citizens, with 6,500 residing on the Yankton Indian Reservation. 

This a developing story, Native News Online will provide more information when it becomes available.

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About The Author
Levi Rickert
Author: Levi RickertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected]