Tribal sign

Signs like these posted around the Colorado River Indian Reservation remind Tribal members of the dangers of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and tells them to stay home to prevent its spread.

The Colorado River Indian Tribes’ Tribal Council has voted to extend their ‘stay-at-home’ order, Resolution 54-20, to Aug. 31. The vote came at a special meeting July 28. In a statement, the Council stated that, while the number of new coronavirus cases among Tribal members has been decreasing in recent weeks, extending the resolution was the best way to ensure the number continue to go down.

The resolution said that, as of July 25, there had been 288 cases of the coronavirus among Tribal members, and four deaths. Tribal members make up the majority of the 468 coronavirus cases reported in La Paz County.

“Even though the number of new COVID-19 cases has been gradually decreasing, the Tribal Council feels extending the Resolution is the best way to ensure the numbers continue to move in the right direction,” the Council’s statement said.

The Tribal Council statement lists the requirements of the Stay-at-Home resolution:

“All individuals (within the exterior boundaries of the CRIT Reservation) are required to stay at home 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.”

“Recreational activities remain 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 BlueWater Resort & Casino, which closed temporarily in March, will remain closed. No tentative date for reopening in shown on their website. Links to “BlueWater Updates” on the Parker Pioneer’s website, www.parkerpioneer.net, go to a message that says. “See you soon.”

Face mask requirements enacted in June will remain in effect until further notice. Face masks are required in public spaces on the CRIT reservation. These include the communities of Big River, Bluewater Lagoon, Poston and the Parker Valley. Businesses include Walmart, Safeway, CVS Pharmacy, McDonald’s, both Running Man Fuels locations, and some businesses within the limits of the Town of Parker.

A statement from Tribal Chairman Dennis Patch said, “While COVID-19 numbers have only recently become more manageable, now is not the time to let our guard down. In an abundance of caution, we need to continue to shelter in place to protect the health and safety of Tribal members.”

The restrictions will remain in place until August 31, 2020, or until Tribal Council, in consultation with public health officials, determines that the threat has decreased and these restrictions can be lifted.

The Tribal Council thanked the community for its patience as well as caregivers and medical professionals for their efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and their dedication in treating those who have been affected.

Tribal members and other beneficiaries of Indian Health Services can get tested for the virus at Parker Indian Health Center. They will now be on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only. Testing for IHS employees will be from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. Testing for IHS beneficiaries will be from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

The testing is open to all IHS beneficiaries, including all Native Americans and Alaskan Natives. It’s also open to IHS employees.

Parker Indian Health Center is located at 12033 Agency Road in Parker. The testing area is located on the west side of the building under the covered parking area. Look for the signs.

This testing is by appointment only. To make an appointment, call 928-669-3246.

Pioneer reporter John Gutekunst contributed to this story.

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