The Colorado River Indian Tribes’ Tribal Council has voted to extend their ‘stay-at-home’ resolution through the month of June. The decision was made at the May 28 Council meeting. This came the same week a total of 18 more cases of the coronavirus were reported among people who tested at Parker Indian Health Center. This brought the total number of CRIT positive cases to 41 among 70 positive cases in La Paz County.
“The decision not to lift the restrictions was made with much consideration for the protection of the community,” the Tribal Council said in a statement. “With the crisis unfolding on the Navajo Nation, and throughout Indian Country we are vividly reminded of the potential death toll that this disease can have. The decision not to lift the restrictions was made with much consideration for the protection of the community.”
The state of Arizona has been gradually reopening since Gov. Doug Ducey’s stay-at-home order expired May 15. The CRIT reservation is considered sovereign and a separate entity from the state.
The council’s statement lays out some of the details of the stay-at-home order:
“All individuals (within the exterior boundaries of the CRIT Reservation) are required to stay at home, with the except for essential personnel. Individuals may only leave their homes out of absolute necessity for their health, safety, or welfare—such as obtaining medical care, food, or traveling to an essential job function. Only one individual in the household should be sent out to conduct essential business, such as grocery shopping, except where assistance is required, or no one is in the home to care for young children.”
There is also a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew for all residents on the reservation. Mobile home and RV parks may not accept new rentals, and gatherings of six people or more are prohibited unless they are part of the same household.
“Recreational activities are suspended on the Colorado River Indian Reservation,” the statement continued. “This includes permitted and open access to the Colorado River, and orders temporary suspension for fishing, hunting, camping, and other recreational permits. This does not include individuals or family units from walking around their neighborhood, playing outside in their yard, running, or biking provided social distancing is practiced. This does exclude large groups playing group sports, contact, or not.”
The stay-at-home order also includes the BlueWater Resort & Casino, the Tribes’ largest enterprise. The BlueWater has been closed since March 20. While two dates were announced for its reopening, they were both cancelled. A link on the Parker Pioneer’s website to updates from the BlueWater shows a graphic praising frontline health workers and first responders.
The Tribal Council’s statement thanked those agencies who have worked to enforce the stay-at-home order in the field. They included the CRIT Police Department, CRIT Fire Department, CRIT Fish & Game, CRIT Wildland Fire, Big River Development & Water Department, the CRIT Attorney General’s office and many others.
“Thanks to ALL the departments & enterprises who have continued to work and keep CRIT functioning during this period of time,” the statement said.
To the CRIT community, the Tribal Council’s statement said, “We know that it has been an adjustment, and we ask that you again, stay vigilant and help us to reduce the spreading of this disease. CRIT remains committed to working with everyone within our sovereign tribal lands to limit the spread of the Coronavirus for the health, safety and welfare of all. The restrictions will remain in place until June 30, 2020, or until the Tribal Council, in consultation with public health officials, determines that the threat has decreased and these restrictions can be lifted.”
This is the second extension of the Tribes’ stay-at-home order, which was first approved April 1. It was originally set to expire April 30. This was extended to May 31. It has now been extended to the end of June.