Spirit Lake restricts out-of-state travel as COVID-19 cases rise
An executive order signed March 31 requires residents of the reservation to show proof they have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine prior to out-of-state travel, and non-essential visits to the reservation from out-of-state visitors have been temporarily suspended.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in North Dakota, the Spirit Lake Tribe has issued an executive order restricting travel to and from the reservation.
The March 31 order aims to protect tribal members from COVID-19 by limiting movement off the reservation. Through the order, all non-essential visits to the reservation are prohibited, except for emergency purposes and approved work with the tribe. All out-of-state visits must be reported to the Incident Commander.
Residents of the reservation who wish to leave the state and come back will be required to show proof that they have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine at least 15 days prior to travel. Any resident of the reservation must notify the Incident Commander prior to any out-of-state travel, and travel outside the U.S. is prohibited. Essential out-of-state medical appointments must also be reported to the Incident Commander, per the order.
If a Spirit Lake employee declines a COVID-19 vaccine, they must complete an Employee Refusal Form prior to travel. Spirit Lake employees also must receive approval from their immediate supervisor in addition to the Incident Commander prior to any out-of-state travel.
As of Thursday, April 1, there were two active cases of COVID-19 in Benson County, which encompasses most of the Spirit Lake Reservation. Overall, cases of COVID-19 across the state have increased 60% in the last seven days , with outbreaks concentrated in Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks and Minot.