After conferring with the public health and medical teams from both Blackfeet Community Hospital and Southern Piegan Health Center, BTBC has engaged in extensive deliberation leading to a decision that will move Blackfeet Nation into Phase 2 of the Blackfeet COVID-19 Phase Plan. During this process, extensive changes were made to the Plan.
Moving to Phase 2 will allow for a limited opening of non-essential business functions. BTBC is committed to ensuring that public safety is a top priority as economic recovery takes place. The ability to move to Phase 2 is due to the diligence and care shown by the Blackfeet community and healthcare organizations throughout this pandemic. Considerations taken into account to make this decision include. but are not limited, to the following:
- Aside from a small spike in COVID-19 cases due to Christmas and New Years’ holidays, new and active case numbers have been declining over the past 8 weeks.
- Testing is widely available to all people who would like to be tested, regardless of symptoms. Testing incentives will be offered in the future to encourage more testing. Testing is now going on at the Old THIP Building located behind P&M, 9-3 Monday through Thursday. You can call 338-4624 or 338-4724 for info1mation.
- Vaccinations are rolling out smoothly and first doses have been provided to more than 16% of eligible adults residing in Glacier County (one of the highest rates of vaccination in the State, currently).
- Sustaining ”Phase 1 Stay at Home” creates other public health issues through sustained school, mental health, and social service closures that will require significant efforts to repair.
- Individuals and businesses have a much better understanding of how to protect themselves and patrons from spreading COVID-19 than they did a year ago.
Approving the move to Phase 2 of the Blackfeet COVID Phase Plan comes with risk. An important piece of the Phase Plan is that the community can move backward in the Phase Plan, if needed. If the public health or healthcare system is strained, or cases rise dramatically, action will be taken to move back into Phase 1.