Tribes to test for COVID-19, over 10,000 to be tested

The Fort Peck Tribes, along with North East Montana Health Service’s, testing local population for COVID-19.

Starting next week, the Tribes, in conjunction with other local agencies, will be testing the population for COVID-19.

The COVID-19 test resembles a home pregnancy test. Blood is taken from a patient and dropped into the small testing strip. It makes a line appear on the line. Anything above the IgG mark means the person is completely COVID-19 free. If the mark is between the IgG and IgM, means the person is infected, and anything below the IgM mark means the person has traces of the virus in their bodies (antibodies).

“The Fort Peck Tribal Executive Board has undertaken unprecedented measures to deter the spread of the corona virus within the community,” according to a press release from the Tribes. “The Fort Peck Tribes secured 10,040 tests that can rapidly check for COVID-19 antibodies.”

The Tribes and Northeast Montana Health Services will be working to test everyone for traces of COVID-19. They will be going across the reservation in every community and testing everyone with the so-called “rapid check” test.

Once a person takes the test, the results will be ready in an hour. It detects any traces of the virus, including antibodies.

The Tribes acquisition of the tests and their availability through local collaboration is part of the Tribes efforts to keep the reservation healthy, states the release.

Tribal leaders took these tests recently, and a few put their results up publicly.

Councilwoman Patt Runs Through said it was fast and painless.

There are other options for those who want to be tested privately. Half of the tests were given to the local Indian Health Service and are available if requested.

When the Tribes announced this, the national death toll from COVID-19 passed 70,000 people. In Montana, the number of confirmed cases is at 457. In Roosevelt County, which encompasses most of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation boundaries, there are seven infections and no deaths.

In related news, as the country gradually eases up on restrictions on movement and social interaction, the Tribes announced they would be having a “grand opening” of the reservation on May 22, 2020. But this is subject to change.

A curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. was put in place by tribal law, and violating it could result in jail and a $500 fine.

On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, the Tribes passed a resolution easing curfew restrictions and changing the time to 12:00 a.m., to 5:00 a.m.

The Tribal Government has continued to operate in quarantine during this historic

Fort Peck Reservation

COVID-19 Testing Schedule

May 13, 2020

Frazer: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Oswego: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

May 14, 2020

Fort Kipp: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Brockton: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

May 20, 2020

Poplar Cultural Center: 9 a.m. to 3p.m.

May 21, 2020

Wolf Point Community Center: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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