PINE RIDGE, S.D. (AP) — The Oglala Sioux Tribe is locking down the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation on Friday, in response to a surging number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
The lockdown begins at 10 p.m. Friday and lasts until 6 a.m. Oct. 30. During that time, all non-critical travel is barred. The tribe said non-essential businesses should close to the public, and travel to non-essential work to or from the reservation should stop.
The tribe also said non-emergency medical appointments that require travel to or from the reservation should be rescheduled.
Tribes nationwide have taken an aggressive approach to preventing infections amid fears that Native Americans could be particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus — and this isn't the first time the Oglala Sioux Tribe has imposed a lockdown since the pandemic began.
The lockdown comes as the state reported 9,862 active coronavirus cases on Friday, and an all-time high of 1,132 new cases in one day. Nine new deaths were reported on Friday. October has been the state’s deadliest month of the pandemic, with 133 of the state's 356 deaths happening this month.
As of Thursday, South Dakota ranked second in the country in new infections per capita over the last two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins University data, with about one in every 97 people in the state testing positive for the virus in the last two weeks.
The Oglala Sioux Tribe posted on its Twitter page that there were 391 active COVID-19 cases on the reservation as of Thursday.