Tribal Council Approves COVID-19 Emergency Response Strategy

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CASS LAKE, MN- In a late session this evening, the Leech Lake Tribal Council approved a resolution establishing the “COVID-19 Emergency Response Strategy to Maintain Essential Government Services and Protect Reservation Health”. This resolution applies to the LLBO Government Operations only, Leech Lake Gaming is expected to release their plan within the next twenty four hours.

The plan establishes a three tiered response to COVID-19 infections in our area and is intended to limit exposure of employees to the virus. Each tier is triggered by a confirmed COVID-19 case within the designated area. Upon passage of the resolution Tier One Emergency Actions immediately took effect. Counties surrounding the reservation but not within our borders, highlighted orange on the map, will trigger Tier Two Emergency Actions. The four counties which fall within the borders of the reservation are highlighted in red on the inset map, a confirmed case in this area will trigger Tier Three emergency actions.

Summary of Emergency Actions

Tier 1- Yellow, Tier 2- Orange, Tier 3- Red

 

  • TIER ONE- All non-essential Elder (55+) and medically vulnerable employees (employees with underlying medical conditions that have been identified to increase the risk of serious complications in patients being treated for Covid-19) will be released on a voluntary basis.
  • TIER TWO- All non-essential Elder and medically vulnerable employees are to be sent home.
  • TIER THREE- All non-essential employees will be sent home; volunteers and additional personnel resources will be organized, based on emergency response capabilities, in order to respond to health and safety emergencies, layoffs may be required

When employees are sent home based on the declaration of Tier One (1) or Tier Two (2) limitations, those employees sent home may receive normal pay if they are able to perform essential job duties remotely and have access to computer and communication resources necessary to accomplish their job duties. If employees sent home under a Tier One (1) or Tier Two (2) declaration do not have work that can be performed remotely, then they will be able to use Administrative Leave based on supervisor approval. Employees that could work remotely, but choose not to, may use accrued Personal Leave. Employees who have questions should contact their immediate supervisors for guidance.

FULL TEXT OF EMERGENCY RESOLUTION
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LEECH LAKE RESERVATION BUSINESS COMMITTEE

RESOLUTION TO ESTABLISH COVID-19 EMERGENCY RESPONSE STRATEGY TO MAINTAIN ESSENTIAL GOVERNMENT SERVICES AND PROTECT RESERVATION HEALTH

WHEREAS, The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (“Band”) is a Federally recognized Indian Tribe organized under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, and operating under the Revised Constitution and Bylaws of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe; and

WHEREAS, Pursuant to its inherent sovereign authority and its By-Laws, the Band’s Reservation Business Committee (“RBC”), made up of duly elected representatives, is the governing body of the Band, having all the legislative powers and responsibilities of the tribal government; and

WHEREAS, The RBC is charged with the responsibility of protecting and advocating for the health and welfare of Leech Lake Band members within the exterior boundaries of the Leech Lake Indian Reservation; and

WHEREAS, The Covid-19 pandemic threatens the health and welfare of Leech Lake Band members within the exterior boundaries of the Leech Lake Indian Reservation, posing the greatest risk to Elders and members with underlying medical conditions.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the Leech Lake RBC, at a duly called meeting with a quorum present, does hereby implement guidelines for limiting the potential exposure of employees to the Covid-19 pandemic by putting in place a progressive plan to reduce employee staffing as the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic increase on the Reservation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That limitations on Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe government operations will be identified by three (3) tiers of emergency actions. Under a declaration of Tier One (1) emergency actions, all non-essential Elder and medically vulnerable employees (employees with underlying medical conditions that have been identified to increase the risk of serious complications in patients being treated for Covid-19) will be released on a voluntary basis. Under a declaration of Tier Two (2) emergency actions, all non-essential Elder and medically vulnerable employees are to be sent home. Under a declaration of Tier Three (3) emergency actions, all non-essential employees will be sent home; volunteers and additional personnel resources will be organized based on emergency response capabilities in order to respond to health and safety emergencies, layoffs may be required; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the RBC delegates to the Executive Director and the Emergency Manager the authority to declare a Tier One (1), Tier Two (2), or Tier Three (3) emergency actions based on the following criteria:

(1) Tier One (1) emergency action declaration shall be issued when community transmission of Covid-19 is confirmed by the Minnesota Department of Health in any county in the State of Minnesota not bordering a county where the Leech Lake Indian Reservation is located (indicated in yellow on the attached map);

(2) Tier Two (2) emergency action declaration shall be issued when a case of Covid-19 is confirmed by the Minnesota Department of Health to be present in any county bordering a county where the Leech Lake Indian Reservation is located (indicated in orange on the attached map);

(3) Tier Three (3) emergency action declaration shall be issued when a case of Covid-19 is confirmed by the Minnesota Department of Health to be present in any county where the Leech Lake Indian Reservation is located (indicated in red on the attached map) or there is community transmission identified in any county bordering a county where the Leech Lake Indian Reservation is located (indicated in orange on the attached map);

(4) in the event that further information becomes available these criteria may be adapted; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That when employees are sent home based on the declaration of Tier One (1) or Tier Two (2) limitations, those employees sent home may receive normal pay if they are able to perform essential job duties remotely and have access to computer and communication resources necessary to accomplish their job duties. If employees sent home under a Tier One (1) or Tier Two (2) declaration do not have work that can be performed remotely, then they will be able use Administrative Leave based on supervisor approval. Employees that could work remotely, but choose not to, may use accrued Personal Leave; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That when a Tier Two (2) declaration is made, it is up to supervisors to identify the essential tasks that need to continue to be executed and the time needed to complete these essential tasks. Supervisors shall develop a schedule of essential tasks, the time that task is to be completed, and the employee those tasks are assigned to in order to minimize person-to-person contact while maintaining essential functionality of Band programs; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That when a Tier Three (3) declaration is made, all non-essential employees are to be sent home and all government programs shall cease operations with the exception of critical and essential services as identified by the Executive Director and Emergency Manager. Volunteers and additional personnel resources will be organized based on emergency response capabilities in order to respond to health and safety emergencies.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, That this Resolution is effective immediately and remains in effect until rescinded or amended by subsequent Resolution duly enacted by the RBC.

CERTIFICATION
WE DO HEREBY CERTIFY that the foregoing Resolution was duly presented and acted on by a vote of 4 for, 0 against and 0 silent at a Special Meeting of the Leech Lake Reservation Business Committee, a quorum being present, held on March 17, 2020 at Cass Lake, Minnesota. Accordingly, this Resolution is duly adopted by the Reservation Business Committee for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, and the Reservation Business Committee further certifies that this Resolution is in full force and has not been amended or rescinded in any way.

 

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