Rocky Boy goes into lockdown as Hill County confirms 11 active COVID-19 cases, five on the reservation
July 8, 2020
Editor’s note: This version clarifies that five cases were confirmed by the health center at Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation but that the confirmations do not mean all five cases were on the reservation.
The Hill County Health Department announced Hill County added new confirmed COVID-19 cases Tuesday, bringing the county including cases confirmed by the Rocky Boy Health Center at Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation to 12 total cases, 11 active.
"As always, the individuals are isolated and the Hill County Health Department continues to investigate and perform contact tracing," a release from the department said.
The Rocky Boy Health Clinic posted on its Facebook page that it has confirmed five cases.
Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation posted on its Facebook page that it is shutting down for 14 days due to COVID-19, saying the tribe has entered Threat Level 4 as its first confirmed cases have appeared.
"The Chippewa Cree Tribe is still under a 'Stay-At-Home' order; curfew is from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m .; essential travel only and limited supply runs, we are also asking that households limit the amount of people traveling off the reservation," the post says. "Social gatherings are prohibited at this time."
Rocky Boy Health Center said in a post on its Facebook page that it confirmed Tuesday its first two cases of COVID-19, one in a resident of Rocky Boy and another in a person linked to the Rocky Boy community.
"If you have been in contact with this individual, you will be contacted," the post says, with contact tracing ongoing and more information will be provided as it becomes available.
It later updated its posts to say five cases had been confirmed.
Both the health center and tribal government posts urge people to practice safety to reduce the spread of the virus.
The tribal government post also says personal protective equipment - face masks - will be distributed at all health and safety checkpoints.
The Rocky Boy Health Clinic will be conducting COVID-19 testing Friday beginning at 8:30 a.m. and people are encouraged to be tested, the post says.
Another post says the Chippewa Cree Housing Authority is closed to the public
"Only emergency work orders will be processed by maintenance staff. Occupancy will be short staffed during this 14-day quarantine period," the post says. "Finance will also be short staffed. Please be patient with our staff during this emergency period, we will work hard with the staff that we are allowed to have, to get everything that needs to be done, done. Please stay safe during these scary times."
An earlier post on the tribe's Facebook page said the 2020 Rocky Boy Pow Wow Committee has canceled this year's powwow.
Another post said Northern Winz Casino will remain closed.
The post about the tribe entering Threat Level 4 encouraged people to practice safety to reduce the potential spread of the virus.
"Remember, wear your masks when out in the community and surrounding areas, practice social distancing, wash your hands and stay safe," the post concludes.
A post on the Chippewa Cree Tribe's Facebook page from its incident command says the tribe is closed down with limited business operations.
It continues to implement its stay-at-home order with members of the community required to stay at home with only limited essential activities permitted.
The orders include mandating people wear masks or face coverings when out in public within the exterior boundaries of the reservation, a mandatory 14-day quarantine for for tribal employees under central services and encouraging people to limit trips through the checkpoints at reservation boundaries to once a day as they might not be allowed back into the reservation.
The public service announcements are available at the Chippewa Cree Tribe Facebook page with the orders on Threat Level 4 restrictions at https://www.facebook.com/ChippewaCree/photos/a.204468676381782/