Two week shut-down ordered at Fort Belknap Reservation

Posted at 3:45 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 17:45:40-04

The Fort Belknap Indian Reservation announced on Wednesday that it has mandated a two-week shut-down due to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.

The order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 2, and will last until 11:59 p.m. on October 16.

Tribal officials say the shut-down will allow public health personnel to continue conducting contact-tracing and help prevent the spread of COVID.

In a series of Facebook posts, officials provided the following details:

  • All residents should plan ahead and get any necessary supplies before the shut-down goes into effect.
  • Stay in your own home during the shut-down period except for "essential travel," which includes required medical care, and food and supply shopping in the immediate vicinity.
  • All travel must be reported in advance by calling 353-3250, 353-2525, or 353-3246.
  • Out-of-area travelers are restricted from Fort Belknap during the shut-down - no exceptions.
  • Hays/Lodgepole schools will be closed with the exception of school lunch program meals being passed out - no sit-down dining, one-directional routing.
  • Harlem schools are closed; school program meals are allowed to be passed out at the discretion of the school
  • Aaniiih Nakoda College is closed with the exception of distance learning already in progress.

The following businesses will remain open, but anyone entering must wear a mask:

  • Kwik Stop, Martin's Store, and Red Paint Creek Store: open because they provides essential food, gas, and supplies
  • Smoke House Grill: open with limited hours and carry-out orders only - no sit-down dining

As of Wednesday, Fort Belknap reports a total of 17 COVID cases; of those, three have recovered, and 14 are currently considered active.

CDC: The federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) released data last month which emphasizes that people with contributing or underlying medical conditions are at much greater risk of dying from COVID-19. According to the CDC, an estimated 94% of all COVID-related deaths in the nation were people who had contributing medical conditions and diseases. The CDC report states: "For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death." The report states that the most common underlying medical conditions that contributed to COVID-related deaths include respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, asthma, and COPD; diabetes; hyptertensive diseases; and heart disease. Click here to learn more on the CDC website.

The CDC also recently released an update to their research into fatality rates associated with COVID-19. A summary of COVID-19 survival rates is shown below; the summary is one of five based on several scenarios. The CDC data and scenarios can be found here.

COVID-19 Survival Rates

  • Age 0-19: 99.997%
  • Age 20-49: 99.98%
  • Age 50-69: 99.5%
  • Age 70+: 94.6%

The CDC says the scenarios are intended to advance public health preparedness and planning, and are not predictions or estimates of the expected impact of COVID-19. The parameter values in each scenario will be updated and augmented over time, as the agency learns more about the epidemiology of COVID-19. The update from September 10th is based on data received by the CDC through August 8.