PIERRE, S.D. —The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has enacted the highest level of their COVID-19 response plan, which puts the reservation on lockdown for at least a week.
The lockdown is in response to the rising cases and the tribe’s ability to admit COVID-19 patients to the Cheyenne River Health Center in Eagle Butte, an Indian Health Service facility.
The health center is currently caring for 11 COVID-19 patients and no longer has any available intensive care unit beds, officials said. The health center is staffed for eight beds.
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Attorney General Tracey Zephier explained the lockdown measures during a Facebook Live video on Friday, Nov. 13, where she noted that no funerals will be allowed during the lockdown period.
“We would ask that maybe families just hold off having any sort of services for the next seven days during the duration of a lockdown,” Zephier said.
Statewide, the South Dakota Department of Health reported 556 COVID-19 patients are now hospitalized.
The department said a Beadle County man older than 80 has died from COVID-19 complications, increasing the state's death toll to 568.
An additional 1,611 new cases were reported Friday, bringing the total positive COVID-19 caseload to 62,327.
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Marvel covers South Dakota government and politics news. She can be followed on Twitter at @shannmarvel and reached at email@example.com or 605-350-8355.