Red Cloud Indian School Staffer Hospitalized With COVID-19, Res On Lock-Down

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PINE RIDGE, S.D. (AP) – The Red Cloud Indian School Facebook page says an employee at Our Lady of Lourdes School at Pine Ridge has been confirmed with coronavirus-COVID-19.

In response, Oglala Sioux Tribal President Julian Bear Runner has ordered a mandatory 72-hour lock-down for the Pine Ridge Reservation that will end Friday at 6 pm. The order applies to travel both across and onto the reservation.

The Facebook page post says the individual, whose name and gender were not released, apparently contracted the virus on visit to California last month for a medical procedure.

They returned with their spouse March 27 and immediately went into self-quarantine at home for 14 in keeping the travel protocols adopted by the school. They had no direct contact with anyone as groceries and other supplies were delivered and left outside their door as needed.

The staffer fell ill last Friday and went to the Indian Health Service Hospital in Pine Ridge, then was referred for testing to a facility in Martin. The Facebook post says a positive test result was received Tuesday afternoon, about the same time the person began having respiratory distress.

They were taken to a hospital in Rapid City, where they will remain until all risk of them spreading the virus has been ruled out by medical personnel.

President Bear Runner’s lock-down order allows essential employees to continue to work, the only other travel allowed will be for medical appointments on and off the reservations.

Trips for groceries will be allowed only an an emergency basis and vendors will continue to have access to Pine Ridge to resupply businesses but anyone who is not a resident of the reservation will be turned away.