- By Levi Rickert
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.
Support Independent Indigenous Journalism
Native News Online is an independent, Indigenous-led newsroom with a crucial mission: We want to change the narrative about Indian Country. We do this by producing intelligent, fact-based journalism that tells the full story from all corners of Indian Country. We pride ourselves on covering the tribes you may have never heard of before and by respecting and listening to the communities we serve through our reporting. As newsrooms across the country continue to shrink, coverage of Indian Country is more important than ever, and we are committed to filling this ever-present hole in journalism.
Because we believe everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities, the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. But we hope it inspires you to make a gift 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.