Public Health Officials Confirm First Case of COVID-19 Within Leech Lake Reservation Boundaries

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CASS LAKE, MN- On Monday, May 11, 2020, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (LLBO) Tribal Health Officials received notification of a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the boundaries of the reservation.

LLBO Tribal Health and Indian Health Service, with guidance from the State of Minnesota Department of Health, is conducting contact tracing to identify anyone who has had contact with the infected person. The individual has known travel history with an infected family member. At this time, any individuals identified to have come into contact with the infected person will be asked to quarantine for 14 days.

Health Service Director Brian Brunelle shared his concern for the affected individual and emphasized the importance of partnerships. “Leech Lake has strong Leadership, Tribal Health and an Incident Management Team working everyday to keep our residents safe and healthy,” said Brunelle. “By working collaboratively with all reservation departments and state agencies, we’ll be able to better monitor and contain this outbreak and deliver needed resources and supplies to the people of Leech Lake”.

It is more important now than ever to practice the guidelines we have put in place. COVID-19 often causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

In addition to following social distancing recommendations, guidelines include;

  • Staying home and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Covering all coughs and sneezes with your sleeve or tissue.
  • Wearing a cloth face cover or mask to protect others.
  • Washing your hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and objects.

What should I do if I have symptoms or think I have been exposed to COVID-19?

Leech Lake Tribal Health, in collaboration with Cass Lake Indian Health Service, has set up a COVID-19 hotline. The hotline numbers are 218-335-3426 or 218-335-3427. The hotline is staffed from 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.

For additional information on COVID-19, please visit, www.leechlakenews.com/coronavirus, www.cdc.gov and www.health.state.mn.us

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