Wednesday, March 11th the Northern Arapaho Business Council (NABC) announced a state of emergency over COVID-19 (Coronavirus) concerns.
Tribal members also released a memorandum on temporary restrictions for work-related travel for tribal employees and encouraged tribal members to not attend the upcoming Denver March Powwow. UPDATE: The Denver March Powwow has been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.
As of Wednesday evening, the Wyoming Department of Health reports one case of COVID-19 has been reported in Wyoming, a woman in Sheridan County.
Joint Statement from NABC and Wind River Cares
Coronavirus emergency declared; Tribal members urged not to attend Denver March Powwow
“Today, the Northern Arapaho Business Council (NABC) unanimously approved an emergency declaration regarding COVID-19, more commonly known as Coronavirus.
“There are no confirmed cases in Wyoming at this time, but that is likely to change as the illness spreads and testing becomes more widely available. We are following the situation closely, and will continue to work with federal, state and local officials to ensure we receive the resources needed to effectively mitigate COVID-19 in our community and limit risk to Tribal members.
“In the meantime, we have authorized and directed every Tribal program director to implement a prevention and response plan with measures to decrease the risk of exposure to the virus. We are also temporarily restricting all work-related travel for Tribal employees to trips deemed essential by the NABC.
“Likewise, in order to reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 being introduced to the Wind River Indian Reservation, the NABC and Wind River Cares also strongly discourage Tribal members from attending the upcoming Denver March Powwow. There are numerous confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Denver-area, and a multitude of public buildings and gatherings in that community have been closed or canceled.
“There are commonsense steps we all can take to protect ourselves and minimize the risk of infection. Consistent with CDC recommendations, we encourage Tribal residents to be diligent about washing hands regularly, disinfecting frequently-used surfaces at your home and work, and
avoiding contact with people when ill. Be especially mindful of members of your own family who may be especially vulnerable, including the elderly and individuals with underlying health conditions.
“As always, the health and safety of Tribal members is our highest priority. COVID-19 is a public health threat we all face. Together, our community will get through this and emerge stronger and more unified as a people.”