Oneida Nation extends health emergency and issues new guidelines to keep residents safe

Local News

ONEIDA, Wis. (WFRV) For the third time, the Oneida Nation has extended a public health emergency and issued new guidelines to keep residents safe from the coronavirus. The new Stay Safer at Home order aims to flatten the curve once and for all.

“It’s still an ongoing health issue,” said Oneida Chairman Tehassi Hill.

While communities around Northeast Wisconsin have reopened after Gov. Evers’ Stay at Home order was struck down, in Oneida Chairman Hill says they are taking a more measured approach.

“Even though the cases are going down, that COVID is still here and precautions are necessary for the health and safety of ourselves and our community,” Hill said.

Wednesday tribal leaders extended for a third time a public health state of emergency declaration and issued a new Stay Safer at Home order, both in place until mid-July.

“We’re really trying to make sure that second wave doesn’t happen,” HIll said.

The order urges people to stay home, requires businesses to submit plans for operating safely to the public health officer, prohibits most gatherings of more than 20 people, and loosens some restrictions, like reopening parks and playgrounds.

“Parents make sure you sanitize your children’s hands in contact areas in the playground,” HIll said.

Hill says the extension is needed because the tribe has had 47 cases of COVID-19 in Oneida, including two deaths.

“Native Americans have a great risk for heart disease and diabetes. A greater factor in contributing to a death of a community member, if they were to contract COVID-19,” said Hill.

And that is an outcome Chairman Hill is trying to avoid, by opening his community slowly and keeping preventative measures in place.

“We’re trying to be as precautionary as possible going forward,” he said.

Hill says there are roughly 7,500 tribal citizens living in Northeast Wisconsin.

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