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Bay Mills tribal member tests positive for COVID-19

Tribal chairman says community could go back to tighter restrictions if high level of exposure identified
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A member of the Bay Mills Indian Community (BMIC) has tested positive for COVID-19. 

According to a social media post from BMIC Tribal Chairman Bryan Newland issued Monday, the confirmed positive case is the second tribal citizen to be diagnosed with the virus. 

The individual is now self-isolating at a residence outside the reservation. 

“We are working with our Health Center team and the Chippewa County Health Department to do contact tracing, and to assess how many people in our community may have been exposed,” Newland said. 

If BMIC determines there has been a high level of exposure to COVID-19 in the community, Newland says its executive council could consider moving back to level four restrictions, which would include the closure of all non-essential businesses.  

Tribal citizens who have been in direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 are now being asked to immediately isolate at home, and contact both Bay Mills Health Center and the Chippewa County Health Department for further instruction.

“Our tribal citizen deserves your prayers and support, and not your judgment or criticism,” said Newland. “There is far too much judgment and meanness in the world right now.” 

“What sets us apart as an Anishnaabe community is our relation to one another - we care for each other, rather than cast one another out. If you have nothing nice or supportive to say to this person, and their family, please say nothing at all. Let us pray that they make a speedy recovery, and that nobody else gets sick.” 

On Monday, Chippewa County Health Department reported 12 total cases of COVID-19. The majority of those cases have been reported within the past week.