Local tribes emphasize masks to curb spread of COVID-19

Menominee tribe adopts resolution requiring masks
NEW Media Staff

The Stockbridge-Munsee and Menominee Indian tribes this past week issued statements in support of wearing masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

While the Stockbridge-Munsee Community has required the use of face masks by all employees and those visiting tribal businesses and government services, the Menominee Tribe last week went a step further by issuing a resolution requiring the use of face coverings across the reservation.

The Menominee Tribal Legislature adopted a resolution on July 9 stating that all residents and visitors to the reservation age 10 and older are required to wear a clean face covering if they are in contact with people who are not household members in public or private indoor settings.

The resolution also requires all employers to ensure that face masks or coverings are sufficiently available to employees, and that all educational and government facilities and all places of business within the reservation boundaries provide face coverings to patrons, guests and visitors who don’t have their own.

For its part, the Stockbridge-Munsee on Tuesday issued a statement reaffirming its commitment helping prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The tribe already requires the use of face masks at all tribal business and government services, including the North Star Mohican Casino Resort, Pine Hills Golf Course, Little Star Convenience Store and the Stockbridge-Munsee Health and Wellness Center, as well as all government buildings.

“We are pleased to see that more cities, counties and businesses across the state are considering implementing their own mandatory mask policies,” Tribal Council President Shannon Holsey said.

“Our policy has been in place since the beginning of the pandemic, and while it has taken some getting used to, we are grateful for the ongoing compliance of our members, employees and customers,” she said. “By working together, we are doing our part to make sure where we live, work and play stays as healthy and safe as possible.”

The renewed emphasis on masks comes as the Shawano-Menominee Counties Health Department reports an uptick in coronavirus cases over the past week.

Shawano County, which broke the 100-mark over the weekend, reported 104 cases as of Tuesday — an increase of 11 since July 10, or nearly three new cases a day. In recent weeks, the county was recording one or two new cases a day.

Public Health Director Vicki Dantoin did not return a call for comment by press time.

Menominee County, meanwhile, has held steady at nine confirmed cases since July 8. Even with the relatively low numbers, however, Menominee County is still considered a high risk area given its limited population.