Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians (Wisconsin)
Posted: March 29, 2020

March 27, 2020

Boozhoo Gakina Awiya,

Dear Readers,
As we reach two weeks of “leveling the curve” with self-quarantines, business closures and shutting down to essential services only, this is also the 2nd consecutive newsletter that is solely about the Coronavirus and the Tribes emergency operations planning.
Many of our community members have been asking about testing. I’m going to try to sum up a few things important to our people at LCO. 
1. As of this writing, there are no confirmed cases in Sawyer County. When and if the first case is confirmed, Sawyer County Public Health will quickly issue a press release informing the public of the confirmation and LCO Public Relations Department will immediately share that release with our community. Please do not rely on any other source, especially social media, unless that information is the Official Press Release!
2. As of this writing, the LCO Health Center has performed 10 Covid-19 tests and are awaiting those results. All those persons who have been tested have been instructed to self-quarantine. The first one was conducted 9 days ago and due to a major backlog of tests, it is taking longer than expected. LCO Health does the tests and sends them out for results. They have informed me that the testing labs have now expanded their hours and manpower to begin examining the tests 24 hours a day, so test results should start coming back much faster. Hayward testing facilities are experiencing the same outcomes. The LCO Health Center is in a great position to test our community members as they have 290 test kits in stock as of this writing.
3. Anyone experiencing Covid-19 symptons (cough, fever, shortness of breath) needs to first call the HOTLINE at 715-934-4518 between 9 am and 4 pm seven days a week. You will be asked several questions and if it is determined you should be tested, you will be directed to the appropriate health facility. If you need immediate medical attention, then you need to call the Emergency Room. 
4. Due to the private ownership of the clinics in Hayward, they are not required to notify Sawyer County Public Health on the amount of tests they have conducted. In order to keep an accurate measure for LCO, the Tribal Governing Board is strongly urging LCO members and community members to first call the Hotline and if determined to need a test, go to the LCO Health Clinic for your test rather than any facility in Hayward.
5. It is important to know that you are required to call the Hotline first, unless your symptoms are serious and require immediate attention and are outside the hours of 9 am and 4 pm. Once you are screened through the Hotline, then you will be given a Curbside Appointment for the following day. If you arrive at the Curbside testing site without an appointment, you will be directed to call the Hotline. Also, if you have general questions, you may call 2-1-1.
Coronavirus Informational Web Page Created on Tribal Website
All statements, news articles and government informational documents related to our Tribe and the Coronavirus will be published in a single easily-navigable location so that our Tribal and community members can stay up-to-date and informed on how this pandemic is affecting our community and what you can do to protect your family. Check back often as this is a rapidly changing situation.
LCO Chairman Addresses Safer-at-Home Order, Employees, Public Health and Emergency Management
In an attempt to keep you informed with this ongoing crisis we face, there are many challenges ahead, but I want to assure you that we are taking every step necessary to keep our membership safe, healthy and informed. I’ll be personally working with our Emergency Response Team and will give regular updates as often as I can.
As a sovereign Tribe, we will decide when we will lift the public health emergency restrictions, but, at the present time we are following the Governor’s safer-at-home order. We have a good working relationship with the Governor who respects our sovereignty. The Governor, Lt. Governor and their administrative staff have been giving us weekly briefings.
The LCO Tribal Governing Board (TGB), Emergency Management, and Health Center have a very good working relationship with Sawyer County Officials and Public Health. The following agencies are holding a daily call to coordinate the joint effort sharing information and preventative measures taken: LCO and Sawyer County Emergency Management, Sawyer County and LCO Chairman’s offices, the Sheriff, LCO Health and County Health & Human Services.
In addition, all of our public safety agencies are communicating on a daily basis.
For the safety, well-being and financial security of our tribal employees and their families, the TGB is seriously looking at unemployment insurance options as we monitor the financial situation of our tribal entities to sustain current and future operations. We have adequate resources available, but to preserve those resources, we are considering the alternatives.
Until further notice, the TGB made the decision to close the LCO Tribal Administration Offices, but essential tribal government services will continue and be accessible by phone or email. If you need any assistance, please call or email the necessary department if you know the extension, or call the Tribal Office main number and leave a message.
TGB members continue to work on this constantly evolving situation and monitor this public health crisis. We are also receiving constant updates regarding the federal stimulus package and determining how this affects us as a Tribe in our current status and going forward.
I want our membership to know there are currently no confirmed Covid-19 cases in Sawyer County or LCO. When there is a first confirmation, Sawyer County Public Health will issue a press release and our Public Relations Department will immediately share that release. In the meantime, that official Press Release is the only source for confirmation you should rely on. When and if we get a confirmed case, we have measures in place to deal with the situation.
I want to thank our community members for complying with the Governor’s Safer-at-Home Order and doing your part in leveling the curve here at LCO.
Our Tribal Governing Board wants all the volunteers and essential personnel who are continuing to work through this crisis to know how much we appreciate you and all you are doing to keep our people safe, healthy and financially secure.
Louis Taylor,
LCO Chairman
LCO on Facebook:
LCO Website:
Chairman Addresses Covid-19 and Latest Safety Measures
By Louis Taylor
LCO Chairman
On behalf of the Tribal Governing Board, I want to assure our Members that the Tribal Government is addressing the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the current status of national events as it affects our communities. Here is an update of the following measures that have been taken to keep our Tribal Members, Employees, all Community Members as safe and healthy as possible. As of 3/25/20, we are at zero positive COVID-19 at LCO. However, to maintain safety, we closed non-essential Tribal enterprises, although there are a few essential departments that remain open with limited hours.
· LCO K-12 School and Waadookodaading have closed but are delivering meals to students.
· LCO Headstart and Early Headstart are closed. Staff are delivering food baskets and necessities to HS/EHS families, one basket per week for two weeks at this time.
· LCO Community Health Center is asking people to call instead of walk-in. The triage is set up for immediate screening for COVID-19 if you are experiencing illness: fever, cough, shortness of breath, and diarrhea.
· Food Baskets are being delivered to Tribal Members in need, Elders 60 and over (if no other means of food), ill and quarantined, high risk with medical issues, and homeless. Baskets will be assembled and delivered to homes Thursday. Please call Karen Gordon at 715-558-7911 for donations and volunteers. All Elder Centers are closed.
· LCO Housing is closed. Please call 715-634-2147 if you have a housing maintenance emergency.
· LCO Men’s Shelter and Women’s shelter are open for emergency housing.
· Sevenwinds Casino/Lodge/Convention Center and Grindstone Creek Casino – closed.
· Tribal Court has limited court appearances. Please call ahead if you require services.
· Until further notice, the LCO Tribal Administration Offices are closed to the public. Only essential employees will be working. Any business will be conducted by phone or email. If you need any assistance, please call or email the necessary department.
· LCO Voc Rehab is open by phone and email for their consumers. There will be at least one person in the office Mon-Fri to take phone calls.
· LCO Conservation is closed. If Wardens are required, call 715-634-5213.
· Grants writing for Health and Human Services funding are enacted due to COVID-19.
· C-Store and QuickStop hours are 8 am to 8 pm.
· Big Fish is closed.
Health Center/Clinic 715-638-5100 General Assistance 715-558-7474 or 7434
Tribal Government 715-634-8934 Conservation 715-634-0102
Tribal Accounting 715-634-7453 Tribal Police 715-634-8350
Vocational Rehab 715-634-9213 Tribal Court 715-558-7430
Income Maintenance 715-558-7458 Food Basket Requests 715-558-7911
Mens Shelter 715-558-2034 Womens Shelter 715-634-9360
We are asking everyone to be mindful of others, please stay home and adhere to safe-distance and daily selfcare. We are doing exceptionally well with precautions and quarantines. We will keep you updated as necessary as things are constantly changing. Please continue to follow the Tribe’s Facebook page or tune into WOJB for these updates. I am extremely grateful for the employees and volunteers working together for the safety of our People.
Volunteers Come Together to Deliver Food Baskets at LCO
The Tribal Governing Board wanted to make sure families in need who aren’t being served by other programs are able to receive a food basket during this crisis. If you would like to be considered for this service, please contact Karen Gordon at 715-558-7911. In the photos below, volunteers prepare the food baskets. In next week’s newsletter we will have more information, such as how many families are receiving these baskets and how many donations have come in. Criteria for food baskets is below the photos.
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