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Tribal Council passes order to slow coronavirus

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News from CSKT

Beginning immediately, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes implemented a government-wide partial shutdown. 

All department heads were directed to establish an essential services schedule through March 27. Department heads are firming up plans on what services will remain in place and what employees can work from home.

A number of tribal programs will be scaled back; however, essential services will remain, like elder care, payroll, accounting, IIM and care of vulnerable populations. The CSKT Elders program alone has 413 elders enrolled in their care. Elders are being contacted and assure that staff is on hand to care for them.

The courts are rescheduling cases. Emergency hearings will take place as needed. The public will not be allowed in the public defender’s offices. 

Jean Matt, director of Mission Valley Power, said their service is crucial, and they will continue to work with a full staff to keep the lights on. The personnel offices will remain open, but they canceled in-person interviews and rescheduled other interviews. The information technology staff will remain to ensure communication networks are running properly. 

The People’s Center will be closed for the next two weeks with plans to reopen on March 30th.

Tribal Council Chairwoman Shelly Fyant reminded people to limit public gatherings, telework when possible, and she emphasized that everyone’s responsibility for cleaning their spaces and washing their hands often. “If you are sick, stay home,” Fyant said. “If you are showing symptoms, call before you go see a medical provider.”

For those who have more detailed questions regarding the virus, there is a state hotline that is answering all questions. The Montana Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force has launched an informational phone line at 1-888-333-0461, and Montanans can also email questions to State public health officials will be responding to inquiries from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. You will be asked to leave a message.

Again, thank you for your efforts in keeping our people safe. The longer we can keep this viral infection away and limit our exposure, the greater the service we provide.

This is not convenient for anyone. Disruptions to work and essential services will happen, but if we can slow the infection and minimize the impact now, these inconveniences will be worth the effort. 


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