RED LAKE, Minn. -- The Red Lake Tribal Council has imposed a curfew and a "shelter-in-place" order for “all persons on the Red Lake Reservation,” to help combat the spread of coronavirus. The curfew forbids people from being outside their residences without an essential reason between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The curfew went into immediate effect on March 23 and was passed unanimously by the Red Lake Tribal Council at a special meeting Monday night. Red Lake seems to be the first governmental unit in the region to enact a curfew in relation to COVID-19.

In the resolution, the council wrote, “(the) tribal council has determined that in order to protect band members from the increasingly more serious threat from the COVID-19 virus, that it is necessary at this time to impose a curfew on band members who live on the Red Lake Reservation.”

According to a press release, the exceptions for the curfew include going to and from employment and leaving for medical purposes.

The penalty for violating curfew is a citation issued by the Red Lake Police Department. The restriction will be in effect for 30 days, after which the need for a curfew will be reevaluated, officials said.

The first case of COVID-19 in Beltrami County was announced by Sanford Health in Bemidji on Wednesday, March 25. The patient is experiencing mild symptoms. The Red Lake Nation is about 35 miles north of Bemidji.

The Minnesota Department of Health announced 25 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday morning. The new state total stands at 287 confirmed cases with one death.

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