Woman with COVID-19, husband banished from Pine Ridge Reservation

South Dakota News

FILE – This Sept. 9, 2012 file photo shows the entrance to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, home to the Oglala Sioux tribe. Tribal official Isaac Last Horse says there is a shortage of police officers on the reservation. Last Horse says a full contingent of officers would be 51 but the police department has just 36. He says many officers have taken jobs in North Dakota, where higher wages are paid. (AP Photo/Kristi Eaton, File)

PINE RIDGE, S.D. (AP) – The Oglala Sioux have banished a non-tribal member with coronavirus and her husband from the Pine Ridge Reservation.

The tribal council deadlocked 9-9 this week on a motion to banish the woman and her husband. Council President Bear Runner broke the tie vote by voting in favor of the banishment.

“For an individual to leave the reservation going to one of the major hot spots where this virus is and then come back is just uncalled for,” President Julian Bear Runner said on KILI radio after the emergency session Wednesday. “It was negligent that this individual would still leave after laws were already in place not just tribally, but nationally and globally.”

The Rapid City Journal reports the woman contracted the coronavirus after returning from Denver on her way to a medical appointment in California that ended up being canceled.

The woman with COVID-19 lives in Porcupine and works at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School, the Red Cloud Catholic School system said on its Facebook page.

The employee immediately contacted Red Cloud after learning about the positive test, and the school then alerted the tribe.

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