The White Earth Reservation now has its first confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19).
One case was listed Thursday, March 26, on the Minnesota Department of Health website. According to a statement by White Earth Emergency Management Team Incident Commander Ed Snetsinger, the individual identified is on self-quarantine for a 14-day period and will be monitored by Minnesota Department of Health.
The state health department is also reportedly contacting people who may have come into contact with this individual and asking them to self-quarantine as well.
"While this is the first case, it will not be the last and it’s why we must continue to practice safe habits like hand washing and staying home per State and Tribal orders," Snetsinger wrote.
While it wasn't known, as of press time, where the individual lives, the state department of health's website shows the case being in Mahnomen County.
In his statement, Snetsinger noted that White Earth has implemented a “ONE-Call” Center to answer general questions related to COVID-19, and provide support services including constituent services, mental health and nursing. The ONE-Call Center phone is 218-936-2774, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The news came two days after White Earth announced it was postponing its upcoming primary election for Tribal Council, which was scheduled for Tuesday, March 31. The primary election now will be on June 9, with the general election on Aug. 18, according to a statement posted to Facebook.
Six people are running for the tribal chairperson job, including incumbent Michael Fairbanks. The other five are: Joshua Vincent Kent, Martha Louise Williams, Pamela Rose Aspinwall, Patricia Ann Moran and Kenneth Ralph Fox Jr., according to a news release from the tribe.
Certified candidates for District 3 representative include incumbent Eugene Raymond “Umsy” Tibbetts and challengers Laurie Lynn York, Char Marie Ellis, Ralph Edward Goodman Jr., Cheryl Ann “Annie” Jackson, Mary Jo Otto, Joseph D
aniel Rousu, David Eugene Greene Jr., Amelia Darlene Bray, David Allen Englund and Leigh Anna “Lee” Harper.
The White Earth Tribal Council also decided to suspend all nonessential government activity for two weeks, beginning Monday, March 23. The upcoming State of the Nation event has been postponed, and all tribal government facilities and buildings will be closed to the public during this time, according to the release.
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