Blackfeet Tribe imposes 14-day lockdown

This undated photo shows the northern boundary of the Blackfeet Nation. (Photo by Murray Foubister, Creative Commons)

The Associated Press

The shutdown starts at midnight Sunday and comes amid a wave of new virus cases

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council is imposing a 14-day lockdown as COVID-19 cases surge on the reservation east of Glacier National Park. 

The tribe's business council said Thursday the shutdown would begin Sunday at midnight, the Great Falls Tribune reported. Law enforcement will cite and fine people who do not comply, the tribe said in a news release.

Statewide, Montana reported another 323 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday and five more deaths. The death toll stands at 170 and another 140 people are hospitalized.

Nearly 110 of the new cases reported Friday involve people between the ages of 20 and 29, while 67 cases were confirmed in people 19 and younger. State health officials have said reopening schools and colleges have contributed to an increase in cases.

Montana has reported more than 11,500 cases since the pandemic began in mid-March. The number of cases is thought to be far higher because not everyone is tested and studies show people can have the virus without feeling sick.

Health officials are tracking more than 2,700 cases of people currently infected, while another 8,700 are reported to have recovered and no longer test positive for the respiratory virus.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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