Spirit Lake Tribe mandates masks, curfew as COVID-19 spreads on reservation
July 31, 2020
BISMARCK - Leaders of the Spirit Lake Tribe have mandated the wearing of facemasks in public and instituted a curfew as a COVID-19 outbreak spreads through the tribe's reservation in northeastern North Dakota.
Tribal Chairman Douglas Yankton Sr. issued the mask order last week, citing rising cases within the tribe and the need to protect older residents and those with underlying health conditions from the fast-spreading illness.
Benson County, which encompasses most of the tribe's reservation, has confirmed more than 60 new cases in the last two weeks, and 42 residents are still known to be infected. Benson now has the seventh most active cases of any county in the state despite having a population of only about 7,000. Tribal and local health officials believe most of the cases in the county have come on the reservation.