Members of the Colorado River Indian Tribes and residents of the CRIT reservation are being ordered to stay home. Tribal Council approved a resolution April 1 requiring all “non-essential” businesses to close and Tribal members and other residents who work “non-essential” jobs to stay home.
The resolution came about due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. There have been two cases of coronavirus in La Paz County. The virus was first found in Wuhan, China. As of April 1, there have been 935,000 cases around the world. Of the cases that are closed, approximately 48,000 people have died and 194,000 have recovered.
The Tribal Council resolution noted the World Health Organization had declared the coronavirus a pandemic, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has declared a public health emergency in the United States due to the coronavirus. They noted that, under the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Montana v. U.S. (1981), a tribal government has the power to exercise civil authority over the conduct of non-tribal members on their lands when their behavior has some effect on the health and welfare of tribal members.
Under the order, only essential personnel are permitted to leave their homes. Others may 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 person from the household should leave the home to conduct essential business, such as buying groceries. The exceptions to this would be situations where assistance is needed or no one is in the home to care for small children.
All businesses and agencies that are considered essential must limit the number of people in their offices and practice social distancing.
All organized recreational activities are prohibited, as are large groups playing sports. Access to the Colorado River for fishing, swimming or boating or other recreational purposes is also prohibited. The resolution states people can still play outside, ride bicycles and walk as long as social distancing is practiced.
The detention facilities and the Children’s Residential Center are closed to visitors until further notice.
All RV and Mobile Home parks shall not permit new RVs or seasonal residents into their respective parks and shall not grant any extensions of RV permits.
In addition, RV and Mobile Home park owners, along with housing managers and apartment landlords, shall ensure no gatherings of more than six people within their establishments unless the people involved are all from the same household. They are authorized to close areas where people may congregate, such as parks and playgrounds.
No overnight parking will be allowed in the parking lots of businesses within the boundaries of the reservation. The exception is semi-trucks are permitted to park overnight in commercial parking lots.
There will be a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew for all individuals, except for travel for essential work and for medical care.
Individuals violating this order may be fined up to $100 per incident per day. For non-profits, the fine will be $250 per day per incident. A for-profit business will be fined $500 per incident per day. For intentional or repeat violations, the fine will be $1,000 per incident per day.
The CRIT Police and Fish & Game Departments are authorized to issue civil citations for violations of these orders.
The resolution will remain in effect until April 30.
These are the businesses the Tribal Council deemed as "essential":
a. Hospitals and medical offices and providers of related medical supplies, home-based care, and prescriptions;
b. Health and social welfare offices and workers;
c. Residential care, daycare, shelters, and detention facilities for children, adults and seniors;
d. Food banks;
e. Daycare services to the extent they are providing care for individuals serving in essential services;
f. Electric, gas, water, septic, and sewer utility workers;
g. Businesses which sell food or supplies necessary for life sustaining activities;
h. Businesses and services which deliver supplies or food;
i. Hard wired and wireless voice communications systems, fiber, cable, and satellite providers for television and internet services and repair personnel;
j. Gas stations, auto repair shops, and auto-supply;
k. Transportation services;
l. Restaurants must only provide take out or drive-thru service and eliminate all dining area seating, to include outdoor seating;
m. Agricultural services and related water irrigation services;
n. Newspaper and media resources;
o. Banks and related financial institutions;
p. Professional legal, accounting, real estate, and insurance services;
q. Hardware stores and construction service providers;
r. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators and others who provide services necessary to maintain safety, sanitation and essential operation;
s. Mailing and shipping services;
u. Pet supply and veterinary services;
v. School staff may continue to work only for the purpose of preparing meals and coordinating at home school services;
w. Government services and operations;
x. Hotels and motels;
y. Funeral services subject to the limitations set forth herein;
z. A petition to the Tribal Council to be included as an essential service shall be considered