Council Extends COVID-19 Mitigation Measures

San Carlos Apache Reservation – On Monday April 27 and Wednesday April 29, the San Carlos Apache Tribe (the “Tribe”) announced that the following resolution and motions were passed by the San Carlos Council, the Tribe’s governing body
Resolution No. AP-20-056, extended the tolling of criminal statutes of limitation, limited hearings to in-custody procedural matters, and continued all other hearings and trials through to May 31, 2020.
Motion No. 145-2020 extended the stay-at-home order for residents of the Reservation through May 27. In the interim, the Tribe’s Emergency Response Commission (“TERC”) will prepare a plan for re-opening the Reservation. The plan will consider the recommendations of the Tribe’s healthcare experts and efforts by Governor to phase-in start-ups of businesses.
Motion No. 147-2020, the Council extended the ban of alcohol sales by enterprises on the Reservation through to May 27, 2020.
Motion No. 148-2020, the Council amended Resolution No. AP-20-055, such that any patient awaiting testing results or who has tested positive within Tier 1 and some of those under Tier 2, shall now be directed to isolate and quarantine at the Apache Gold Hotel.
Motion No. 149-2020, the Council extended administrative leave with pay to all employees of the Tribe through to May 27, 2020.
Motion No. 150-2020 and 154-2020, laid off trainees and employees at the San Carlos Training Institute (“SCTI”), a joint venture between the Tribe and Freeport McMoRan Mining Company (FMC), which provides training and certification for heavy equipment operation. In the event that funding is restored to the SCTI, those laid off will be recalled. FMC, which funds the Training Institute, informed the Tribe that due to the pandemic and worsening economic conditions, FMC was not able to continue funding the Training Institute until further notice. Previously, the Tribe had allocated $530,000 to cover the stipends of SCTIA trainees when Freeport furloughed them. Now, SCTI trainees may be eligible for unemployment benefits.
Motion No. 153-2020, the Council banned public and licensed businesses from woodcutting for any purpose, including home use, sale, resale and staves; suspended any contract for woodcutting. Banned guiding, rock collecting and mining; and, directed the Farm, Black River Pump Station, Tribal Herd, R-100 and Cattle Associations to submit an essential staffing plan to the TERC by May 4, 2020 for the TERC’s approval and monitoring for compliance by law enforcement and security agencies.
Motion No. 155-2020 directed the Gaming Enterprise and Healthcare Corporation to come to an agreement that is fair to both parties that covers cost and meets the satisfaction of the Tribal Council no later than 9 am, Monday, May 4th, 2020. Terry Rambler, Chairman of the Tribe, said, “My elders taught me that patience is a virtue; through sacrifice and patience we may realize great rewards. The Council’s mitigation measures have been difficult to live with. We cannot gather together. We have to keep apart. We have to continuously wash our hands, sanitize, and wear face masks. We had to give up gathering at church – people now attend church through the Internet. We had to give up our traditional ceremonies. We cannot properly grieve for our loved ones at wakes or burials. We have to stay at home. We cannot play sports or enjoy recreation. These are really, really tough sacrifices. But, know this, while our liberty and freedoms have been reduced, all of this is for a greater cause – we will stay free of this dreadful, most deadly disease. Even though we do not have one single case of Covid-19 on our Reservation, even though the Governor may open up Arizona back up before we do, we have to stay the course. On behalf of the Council, I ask you to continue to cooperate with these mitigation measures, and be patient. The life and future of our Tribe depends upon what we do, and us. Together we will get through this.”
In order to mitigate the virus, the Tribe has adopted the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) guidelines for mitigation of Covid-19, a limit on crowd size of 10, and other related directives, including those that may be issued by the Governor of the State of Arizona or agencies of the Federal government. These guidelines shall be enforced by the Tribe through criminal fines of up to $1,000. Covid-19 symptoms include a fever, dry cough, vomiting and diarrhea, fatigue and body ache. But, symptoms can lead to respiratory illness, such as pneumonia, and death. If you think you have these symptoms, you can call the Hospital, which has a 24-hour hotline with a nurse standing by at 1-833-361-9550. Anyone can confidentially call this number and report any information or questions related to Covid-19.
Anyone returning from out-of-state travel and commuters to the hotspots within Arizona, call Public Health Nursing at 928-961-1940, so they know where you have been. Similarly, commuters to the Reservation will also have to be identified. According to the CDC, the best way to avoid Covid-19 is to stay home. If you go out, keep six feet or more away from others. Do not touch others. Avoid groups over 10 people. Avoid eating at bars, restaurants or food courts. Grab and go instead. Avoid shopping trips and social visits. Wear a face mask. Stay at home. Exercise at home. Do not visit nursing homes or long-term care facilities, unless you have been asked to provide critical assistance. Trips out of the house should only be to seek medical care or for essential household shopping, such as groceries, the pharmacy, fuel, and cleaning products.