Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Rosebud Sioux Tribe (South Dakota)
Posted: May 13, 2020

Rosebud Sioux tribal leaders planned to enact a reservation-wide lockdown starting at midnight Wednesday until Sunday morning following news that the tribe now has 14 positive cases of COVID-19.

Tribal President Rodney Bordeaux announced the lockdown Wednesday afternoon, saying the action would give tribal tracers a chance to investigate any potential contacts those diagnosed with the virus might have had.

“The goal of the lockdown is so that we can do the contact tracing that we need to do to work on suppression of the spread of the virus,” he said in a live announcement.

He said the lockdown would end at 6 a.m. Central Standard Time on Sunday. The president criticized those tribal citizens who had failed to abide by social distancing measures.

“I had hoped that this was not necessary,” Bordeaux said. “Unfortunately, there were too many people in our community who refused to take precautions of social distancing and the wearing of masks in public and also refused to self-quarantine or take any of this seriously.”

In announcing the lockdown, Bordeaux also said the tribe planned to establish five checkpoints on three state and federal highways leading onto the reservation, including U.S. highways 83 and 18 and state highway 44. On Tuesday, he criticized South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem for threatening legal action against the Cheyenne River and Oglala Sioux tribes unless they removed their checkpoints on state and federal highways leading onto their reservations.

Bordeaux said the tribe will allow commercial traffic onto the reservation, and visitors from outside the reservation will be allowed to drive through the reservation but will be told to not stop along their journeys.

He said he also is allowing businesses to remain open between the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the lockdown in order to allow people to get needed supplies. Those needing dialysis treatments also will be allowed to travel to their treatment sites, and medical professionals and their staff will be allowed to travel while performing their official duties.

He said his office plans to develop a list of essential employees who also will be allowed to go to work. However, local residents won’t be allowed to leave Todd County unless they have proof of a medical or dental appointment.

On Wednesday, Bordeaux thanked those citizens who have abided by public health measures enacted by the tribe.

“We appreciate the sacrifice each of you have made during this troubling time,” he said.

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