As cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) increase in Wyoming and pose a growing threat to Tribal communities, a temporary stay-at-home order was enacted today for Tribal members and residents of the Wind River Reservation. The formal action was approved by the Wind River Inter-Tribal Council – representing the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone business councils – as well as leaders from Wind River Family & Community Healthcare and Eastern Shoshone Tribal Health.
Separately, the Northern Arapaho Business Council has extended the temporary closure of the Wind River Hotel & Casino until further notice. Tribal leaders will continue to consult with medical professionals to determine when the stay-at-home order can be lifted and public activities may safely resume.
“This is a dangerous and highly-contagious virus. The best way at this time to break the chain of transmission and protect Tribal members is to have people limit their exposure by staying home,” said Chairman Lee Spoonhunter of the Northern Arapaho Business Council. “We recognize this temporary order represents a hardship for some, but we ask that Tribal members consider their elders, family members and friends whose lives are endangered due to COVID-19. Our message is simple: Help us save lives. Please stay home.”
The mandatory order will remain in effect until further notice. The order makes allowances for Tribal members to seek medical attention or shop for groceries, medications and other necessities. Essential occupations are excluded from the stay-at-home mandate, including: healthcare and pharmacy workers; 1st responders; public works and sanitation crews; grocery and food supply workers; financial services; and more.
Tribal leaders continue to coordinate regularly with local, state and federal authorities, and have acted quickly to stem the spread of COVID-19. In recent weeks, Tribal leaders declared a State of Emergency on the Wind River Reservation; temporarily closed all schools, the Wind River Hotel & Casino, restaurants (with the exception of takeout and delivery) and other public establishments; canceled all in-person, Tribe-sponsored events; prohibited public gatherings and all non-essential work-related travel by Tribal employees; and more.
The complete temporary stay-at-home order can be read here: Wind River Inter-Tribal COVID-19 Order