Pine Ridge Reservation on lockdown

By Mandy Scherer

According to Executive Order 20-05 issued on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is under total lockdown due to positive COVID-19 cases on the reservation.

The lockdown expires May 13, at 12 p.m. MT.

On May 11, it came to the attention of the Oglala Sioux Tribal President, that there are now two positive COVID-19 cases on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

The executive committee of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council did approve that the OST President issue an order that mandates a total lockdown of the Pine Ridge Reservation as a means to contain the COVID-19 virus on the reservation.

The purpose of the order is to restrict movement within the Reservation as a containment measure and limit travel to critical services and medical emergencies.

Residents shall not leave their property except for medical emergencies and except for critical services employees going to and from their places of employment.

All businesses shall be closed to the public reservation-wide. Only critical services shall be allowed to operate.

Agricultural operations are allowed to continue, but the tribe encourage only the main rancher to participate. This is considered a critical service.

Social gatherings of any size or any reason are cancelled and postponed at this time (including funerals, celebrations and other social events).

The tribe will continue checkpoints. Travelers at checkpoints shall be advised that only travel related to critical services, medical emergencies and access to homes and other real property in which the traveler has an interest is permitted within the reservation and that any other travel shall be limited to passing through the reservation on state and federal highways, including US Highway 18 and State Highway 44, which will remain open. Non-critical travel is prohibited on tribal roads and BIA roads maintained by the tribe.

The OST Department of Public Safety shall fully enforce this order.

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