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As new cases are confirmed in Hill and Blaine counties, Rocky Boy increases COVID-19 restrictions

Rocky Boy Health Center confirms two new cases, Hill County Health Department reports three


Last updated 7/20/2020 at 6:06pm

Updated 5:47 p.m. Monday, July 20.

On the heels of putting in a curfew that covered the entire weekend, The Chippewa Cree Tribal Business Committee today passed resolutions strengthening a night-time curfew and ordered central services tribal employees to self-quarantine for seven days as new cases of COVID-19 are confirmed in Hill and Blaine counties.

Blaine County Health Department announced this afternoon that two new cases in that county had been confirmed through tracing contacts with previous cases.

That brings the total in Blaine County to six confirmed cases, all active.

"These cases are isolated and recovering at home," the Blaine County Health Department Facebook post said. "Close contacts have been identified, and contact tracing is complete on all current cases. If you have not been contacted by public health- you are not a contact to any of the COVID-19 cases in this group or in Blaine County."

After the Chippewa Cree Tribal Business Committee resolutions passed, the Rocky Boy Health Center announced this afternoon it had confirmed two new cases, bringing the total number it has confirmed, and the number of active cases it has confirmed, to 28.

Hill County Health Department, which puts out numbers including the Hill County cases confirmed at Rocky Boy Health Center, reported three new cases confirmed this afternoon, one more than confirmed by the Rocky Boy Health Center.

The reporting entities do not report exactly where the people confirmed to have the virus live.

Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation also exists in both Hill and Chouteau counties. That has led to some discrepancies on the state map reporting confirmed cases, with a few cases apparently reported as Chouteau County's being listed in Hill County.

Hill County Health Department's post said the county now has 34 cases, including cases confirmed after the state map's update, with 30 active and four recovered cases.

The Hill County Health Department post said all cases were identified through tracing contacts with previously confirmed cases.

The new cases were boy from age 0 to 9, a woman in her 30s and a man in his 70s, the post said.

The map this morning, before the new cases were confirmed, listed 35 cases for Hill County, 32 active, and none in Chouteau County.

The curfew resolution, citing the emergency declared in March by the Business Committee due to the COVID-19 pandemic, says the committee is modifying the night-time curfew it had put in place.

The curfew is in effect from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Sunday except for people performing work on behalf of essential businesses and government entities and as well as other nonprofit organizations and people seeking medical treatment, the resolution says.

It also says the 10 p.m. to 6 p.m. curfew continues for all youth younger than 18.

It also notes that people who must leave their homes are required to wear masks or face coverings.

Again citing the tribal emergency declaration as well as Gov. Steve Bullock's declaration for the state and information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying "community-based interventions can help slow the spread of coronavirus," the isolation order mandates that tribal employees under central services go into a seven-day quarantine period, returning to work July 28 unless ordered otherwise.

"The Chippewa Cree Tribal Business Committee strongly encourages other tribal entities and tribal businesses not housed under central services to follow suit and take steps to protect their employees, customers and clients," the resolution says.

The mandate also applies to any tribal employee ordered to quarantine by a public health official or court order or displaying symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, coughing, breathing difficulties or shortness of breath and persistent pain or or pressure in the chest. All self-quarantine orders issued by public health officials or court orders for a longer period of time supersede the time period in the resolution, it adds.

The resolution encourages the use of telework whenever possible.

The resolution also establishes that all employees who cannot work be granted administrative leave, including people who normlly do not qualify for administrative leave, during the seven-day quarantine period.

"The Chippewa Cree Tribal Business Committee encourage(s) all staff to continue to use best efforts to work form home during the seven-day self-quarantine period, and takes steps to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus," the resolution says.

Friday The Business Committee implemented a weekend-long curfew, that started at 10 p.m. Friday and did not end until 6 a.m. today.





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