Rocky Boy going back into lockdown Sunday
New cases in Blaine, Chouteau counties
Last updated 8/7/2020 at 6:03pm
Rocky Boy Health Center, the COVID-19 Incident Command Center at Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation, announced in a Facebook post this evening that the the Chippewa Cree Tribe's government has announced a Red Threat Level 4 Alert and the tribal government is implementing a 72-hour lockdown effective Sunday at 10 p.m. through Wednesday at 6 a.m.
The post urged people to wear a mask, social distance and wash their hands if they had to go out before the lockdown started.
The post said the shutdown would allow essential workers only out in public, limited travel that must be approved by the incident command center, no social gatherings and personal protective equipment mandated for the entire community.
This comes as local health departments report no new cases in Hill County, two new cases in Chouteau County reported this afternoon and one new case in Blaine County, reported this morning.
The Rocky Boy lockdown announcement came after Rocky Boy Health Center reported a new confirmed case of COVID-19 not related to previous cases, as well as the first COVID-19-related deaths in the county, two men in their 50s and 60s.
Chippewa Cree Tribal Business Committee Chair Harlan Baker said in a video recorded this morning pasted on the tribe's Facebook page that Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation will be going into a 72-hour lockdown effective Sunday at 10 p.m.
"The situation has changed here, and we're trying to take the best interests of the community, our elders, our people in general, especially those that are at high risk," Baker said.
A Facebook post on the Rocky Boy Health Center Facebook page Thursday night said a new case had been confirmed that was not related to any previous cases. That could lead to a cluster outbreak, increased positive cases in the area.
The health center advised everyone to take precautions.
"Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Social Distance. Stay home. We are discouraging social and/or family gatherings at this time," the post said.
Baker said in his video that one of the reasons for the 72-hour lockdown was to give public health time to conduct contact tracing.
He said the Business Committee hoped the delay would allow people the time to gather needed supplies, and that the tribal government would provide necessities to people placed into quarantine or isolation due to contact tracing, as well as for people who need supplies during the lockdown.
The Rocky Boy Health Center listed three numbers for the incident command center, 301-3739, 399-1443 and 390-6885, and a tip line to report someone not following or abiding by quarantine instructions, 399-1108, as well as a number to call with COVID-19-related questions, 390-6141, and a number to call for medications, 395-4843.
The post said to call 911 for medical emergencies.
Baker said in his video that the tribal government and health center is taking these actions to try to slow the spread of the virus.
"Its a scary time for our people, but we need to remain calm, not to panic," he said. " ... We're all in this together. We'll get through this together."
Watch for updates here and for more in Monday's edition of the Havre Daily News.