The chairman of Crow Nation issued an executive order July 16 extending a reservation-wide “Stay at your place of residence” order until Aug. 31.
The executive order calls for the continued closure of all nonessential businesses, for residents to continue social distancing and wearing masks in public, and cancelled Crow Fair, which had been scheduled for mid-August.
Chairman Not Afraid writes that the order is “critical to protect public health and human safety, and despite the State of Montana lifting the “stay home” order for Montana residents, it is essential, to the maximum extent possible, individuals stay at home or at their place of residence for residents and tribal members of the Crow Indian Reservation.”
In a prepared statement, Jack Old Horn, the Unified Command’s public information officer, wrote the decision to extend the executive order was made after reviewing the current rates of infection for the state and country, consulting with public health experts, and the current understanding that COVID-19 is transmitted by airborne droplets from a person’s mouth.
According to Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services, Native Americans represent 10 percent of the state’s total cases, which came down from 15 percent of cases two weeks ago.
Many tribes across the state have also taken precautions to protect their citizens. The Northern Cheyenne, Rocky Boy’s and Blackfeet reservations are under similar closure orders.
Kaitlyn Nicholas is Yellowstone Public Radio’s Report for America tribal affairs reporter.