Employees of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes went back to work Monday as a stay-at-home order on the reservation was lifted. There are still restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The CSKT Tribal Council decided back in late June that the stay-at-home order would be lifted July 13, but a spike in COVID-19 cases throughout Lake County following the July 4 holiday delayed the rollback.
Tribal spokesperson Rob McDonald says, "Our offices are full again. I mean there are some departments that are gearing up and still making some adjustments, be it plexi-glass coverings or things like that."
The lifting of the shelter in place order coincides with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to reopen the National Bison Range, which sits within the Flathead Indian Reservation’s boundaries. Visitors will be allowed to drive through the Bison Range, but the visitor center and other facilities where guests traditionally gather will be closed.
Despite some reopenings on the reservation, McDonald says the tribes will continue to only allow local residents to recreate on tribal lands requiring a permit.