Blackfeet Tribe – Phased Protocols

The Blackfeet Nation declared a State of Emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 15, 2020, and remains in this State of Emergency to date

Community Members’ Responsibilities

Every member of the Blackfeet Tribe plays an important role in preventing the spread of disease and protecting other community members; especially elders, those with type 2 diabetes, severe obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure. For example, when appropriate, isolating or quarantining oneself is an act of protecting others. It is a priority that all community members clearly understand how they can contribute to the success of the Blackfeet Tribe’s response.

Response Objectives

Every communicable disease emergency is unique and will require objectives that are specific to the incident.  Common objectives can include the following:

  1. Prevent the spread of disease in our community
  2. Protect the safety of, and provide for the health and wellness of, all incident responders including safe work and living environments
  3. Provide timely, complete, and accurate guidance to tribal community members on the incident, response, disease, prevention, and when to seek medical care
  4. Assure tribal community members have access to resources for disease prevention and to medical care when needed
  5. Assure the tribal healthcare facility has access to guidance on diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and infection control
  6. Assure the tribal healthcare facility has access to the resources needed to continue providing care
  7. Assure tribal responders and healthcare providers are properly trained and have access to personal protective equipment (PPE) 
  8. Assure access to available resources through coordination and collaboration with other jurisdictions and partners
  9. Implement disease control measures in a manner that is culturally correct and applies science-based approaches and public health best practices

Fines will be instituted according to current Tribal Ordinances. 

Lockdown – Can be implemented for up to 48-72 hours at a time, generally weekends.  
How to determine when to be in this phase: 

  1. More than 50 active cases AND cases rising over previous 7 day average on Blackfeet Nation, if data is available
  2. Upon recommendation from the healthcare and public health officials
Tribal Workforce Only the following program staff will conduct work in-person or in tribal offices: BLES, EMS, IHS Security, Care Center, Fish and Game, Nurturing Center, CCLTC, Fire Protection, SPHC, Incident Command.  Employees reporting to or from duty are exempted from the Weekend Lockdown but must carry official identification or a letter of designation from their employer on official letterhead which includes a contact name and number for verification.

Breakrooms and employee gathering spaces will be closed in all Tribal offices. 

Community
  1. Community members must remain in place at their primary residence with the exception of obtaining medical care or attending to emergency situations.
  2. Outdoor recreation is allowed only with members of your primary residence.  
  3. Individuals are still permitted to cultivate food (i.e. farming) and tend to livestock. However, plan ahead to purchase hay and feed, if needed.
  4. CURFEW: 10p – 6a
Businesses All businesses must close except for the following:  

    1. Healthcare Operations, 
    2. Essential Governmental Functions (voting, postal services),
    3. Essential Infrastructure (utilities, roads), 
    4. Food Cultivation operations.
Additional Recommendation
  1. All schools require staff and students to work and learn remotely.
  2. Cease all school-related sports or other in-person activities. 
  3. Major employers such as BIA, IHS, BCC offer teleworking opportunities for all employees when possible. 
Phase 1: Stay At Home 
How to determine when to be in this phase: 

  1. Cases are not consistently declining over the last 3 weeks (21 days) 
  2. More than 3 new cases per day in Glacier County or Blackfeet Nation, if data is available
  3. Testing is NOT readily available to all symptomatic people, all asymptomatic high-risk individuals, or contacts 
Tribal Workforce
  1. All tribal employees will be expected to conduct work from home, if possible. See the recommendations of the 15 programs who will be expected to work with the public and will receive hazard pay. All other tribal programs will receive a combination of time and a half pay and regular pay depending on the amount of public interaction required. 
  2. Tribal staff presenting for in-person work will be screened for COVID symptoms at the beginning and end of every shift. 
  3. Tribal staff presenting for in-person work will routinely submit to a COVID test for the purpose of quickly identifying outbreaks. 
  4. Breakrooms and employee gathering spaces will be closed in all Tribal offices. 
  5. Tribal Government will be conducted by video conference.
  6. Telework will be encouraged and expected for all Tribal employees. 
Community
    1. Community members should stay in place at their primary residence and refrain from interaction between homes of extended families and friends. Exceptions will be made for childcare, eldercare, and other types of essential care. 
    2. In-person meetings required for upholding essential tribal or civic duties may be  permitted. Video conferencing is encouraged whenever possible. 
    3. Masks are required in all public places. 
    4. On reservation travel is restricted to essentials including grocery shopping, obtaining medications and medical attention.
    5. Off reservation travel should be followed by a period of voluntary self-quarantine for 14 days if a person participates in activities off-reservation that are not allowed on-reservation (Examples: in-person gatherings, dining at restaurants). 
    6. No in-person gatherings, including but not limited to weddings, birthdays, sporting events, or spiritual gatherings. *Funerals may be allowed graveside for immediate family with the advanced approval of a committee including the Safety Officer, Tribal Public Health, Incident Commander. 
    7. Do not engage in risky outdoor recreation that may strain the healthcare or emergency response systems further.
    8. Do not recreate with people who live outside of your immediate household.
  • CURFEW: 10p to 6a
Businesses Non-essential Businesses must close in Phase 1. These include: Casinos, conference areas, arenas, stadiums, gyms, fitness centers, hair and nail salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, spas, in-person retail (not including medical or pharmacy), in-person dining, roadside markets, youth programs. 

Essential Businesses & Essential Governmental Functions (voting, postal services) may remain open as long as masks are worn and a 6ft distance can be maintained in Phase 1 Outline under the following “Minimum Regulation” guidance set forth in Resolution 285-2020 and included at the bottom of the table. 

Limited hours: 8a to 7p *See the Business Guidance Outline Below for More Business Requirements*

Additional Recommendations
  1. All schools require staff and students to work and learn remotely, working in-person only if the work cannot be accomplished at home. 
  2. Cease all school-related sports or other in-person activities. 
  3. Major employers such as BIA, IHS, BCC offer teleworking opportunities for all employees when possible. 
Phase 2: Restricted Opening
How to determine when to be in this phase: 

  1. Sustained case decline over the last 3 weeks (21 days) 
  2. Less than 3 new cases per day in Glacier County or Blackfeet Nation, if data is available
  3. All symptomatic people, all asymptomatic high-risk individuals, or contacts CAN access testing 
Sector Procedures / Recommendations
Tribal Workforce
  1. All tribal employees will be expected to conduct work from home, if possible. See the recommendations of the 15 programs who will be expected to work with the public and will receive hazard pay. All other tribal programs will receive a combination of time and a half pay and regular pay depending on the amount of public interaction required. 
  2. Tribal staff presenting for in-person work will be screened for COVID symptoms at the beginning of every shift. 
  3. Tribal staff presenting for in-person work will routinely submit to a COVID test on a regular basis for purposes of quickly identifying outbreaks. 
  4. Breakrooms and employee gathering spaces may be opened if 6ft distancing can be maintained.
  5. Tribal Government can be conducted in-person (with 6ft distance and masks), only if necessary,  or virtually which is recommended.
  6. Telework will be encouraged and expected for all Tribal employees. 
Community
    1. Community members are encouraged to severely limit their interactions with households other than their own. Consider forming “social cohorts” – a small, self-contained group of people who limit their interactions outside the cohort. 
    2. Masks are required in all public places. 
    3. Off reservation travel should be followed by a period of voluntary self-quarantine for 14 days if a person participates in activities off-reservation that are not allowed on-reservation (Examples: in-person gatherings, dining at restaurants). 
    4. No gatherings of more than 10 people, including but not limited to funerals, weddings, birthdays, sporting events. Gatherings with more than 10 people may take place with the advanced approval of a committee including the Safety Officer, Tribal Public Health, Incident Commander. 
    5. Tribal campgrounds and other open spaces for gathered public recreation can be reopened at the discretion of the BTBC.
  • CURFEW: 10p to 6a. 
Businesses Opening of most businesses at reduced capacity. Open businesses must still be able to comply with the “Minimum Standards” as listed at the bottom of the document. 

  • 50% of maximum occupancy allowed for in-person transactions in most businesses
  • Dining or restaurant establishments: allowed drive-thru and curbside takeout only 
  • Financial: allowed drive-thru only (banks)
  • Salons, Barbers, and Tattoo Parlors: Appointment only and allow time for cleaning between appointments
  • Outdoor Parks: Limited capacity
  • Businesses will screen employees at the beginning of every shift 

Not Allowed in Phase 2: Youth Programs, casinos, bars, indoor conference areas, in-person dining, cafeterias

Additional Recommendations May allow sporting events to resume with 10% capacity for spectators with a seating plan that follows COVID guidance as approved by the committee including the Safety Officer, Tribal Public Health, Incident Commander. *If outbreaks become associated with sporting events, then the events will be cancelled. 
Phase 3: Recovering
How to determine when to be in this phase: 

  1. Continued decline in daily cases 
  2. 1 or fewer new cases per day in Glacier County or Blackfeet Nation, if data is available
  3. All symptomatic people, all asymptomatic high-risk individuals, or contacts CAN access testing; Increasing number of tests per day, nearing sufficiency
Sector Procedures / Recommendations
Tribal Workforce
  1. Telework will be encouraged for all Tribal employees when it is possible. All pay will return to normal, no hazard or time and a half. 
  2. Tribal staff presenting for in-person work will be screened for COVID symptoms at the beginning of every shift. 
  3. Tribal staff presenting for in-person work will routinely submit to a COVID test for the purpose of quickly identifying outbreaks. 
  4. Breakrooms and employee gathering spaces may be opened.
  5. Tribal Government can be conducted in-person (with 6ft distance and masks), only if necessary, or virtually, which is recommended.
Community
  1. Community members are encouraged to limit their interactions with households other than their own. Consider forming “social cohorts” – a small, self-contained group of people who limit their interactions outside the cohort. 
  2. Masks are required in all public places. 
  3. No gatherings of more than 25 people, including but not limited to funerals, weddings, birthdays, sporting events, spiritual gatherings. Larger gatherings may be held, but must have a plan following COVID guidelines and be advanced approved by a committee including the Safety Officer, Tribal Public Health, Incident Commander. Public gatherings are required to maintain social distancing, mask wearing, and proper hand hygiene.
  4. CURFEW: 10p to 6a. 
Businesses Open businesses must still be able to comply with the “Minimum Standards” as listed at the bottom of this table. 

  • 50% of maximum occupancy allowed for in-person transactions in most businesses
  • Dining or restaurant establishments: allowed drive-thru only 
  • Financial: allowed drive-thru only (banks)
  • Salons, Barbers, and Tattoo Parlors: Appointment only and allow time for cleaning between appointments
  • Outdoor Parks: Limited capacity
  • Businesses will screen employees at the beginning of every shift 

Not Allowed in Phase 3: Casinos, bars

Additional Recommendations Schools consider offering in-person school instruction with approximately 50% capacity and online and hybrid learning options. Plans for re-opening should be shared with BTBC and Tribal Public Health Officers.
Phase 4: New Normal 
How to determine when to be in this phase: 

  1. Cases are continuing to decline
  2. No new cases per day in Glacier County or Blackfeet Nation, if data is available / 7 day rolling average is <5 cases
  3. Less than 1% of tests come back positive 
  4. All symptomatic people, all asymptomatic high-risk individuals, or contacts CAN access testing; with Sufficient number of tests per day
Sector Procedures / Recommendations
Tribal Workforce
  1. Telework will be encouraged for most Tribal employees. Most programs may have people working in Tribal offices at partial in-person capacity.  Pay will return to normal, no hazard or time and a half.
  2. Tribal staff presenting for in-person work will be screened for COVID symptoms at the beginning of every shift. 
  3. Tribal staff presenting for in-person work will routinely submit to a COVID test for the purpose of quickly identifying outbreaks. 
  4. Tribal Government may be conducted in-person (with 6ft distance and masks) or virtually.
Community
    1. Community members are encouraged to continue to practice social distancing, mask wearing, and proper hand hygiene while in public settings.. 
    2. Masks are encouraged in all public places. 
    3. Reconsider travel to areas experiencing outbreaks.
    4. Public gatherings are required to maintain social distancing, mask wearing, and proper hand hygiene. Gatherings of more than 100 people, including but not limited to funerals, weddings, birthdays, sporting events, and spiritual gatherings must have a plan following COVID guidelines and be approved by the committee including the Safety Officer, Tribal Public Health, Incident Commander. 
    5. All public recreation open.
  • CURFEW: To be determined by BTBC.
Businesses 75% of maximum occupancy allowed for all businesses. Open businesses must still be able to comply with the “Minimum Standards” as listed at the bottom of this table. 
Additional Recommendations School sporting events can take place if a plan for large gatherings have been approved.

*All orders work hand in hand each can be directed at any time per the number of active cases.

Business Guidance

Topic Business & Activity Guidance
Essential vs. Non-essential Businesses Non-essential Businesses include: Casinos, conference areas, arenas, stadiums, gyms, fitness centers, hair and nail salons, barber shops, spas, in-person retail (not including medical or pharmacy), in-person dining, roadside markets, youth programs. 

Essential Businesses include: 

  • Stores that sell groceries or medicine
  • Food production and agriculture
  • Organizations that provide charitable and social services
  • Media
  • Financial & Real estate services
  • Critical trades (construction, HVAC, janitorial, plumbing, electrical, etc.) 
  • Mail
  • Education Institutions
  • Laundry Services
  • Liquor Businesses
  • Food Consumption (restaurants, food preparation)
  • Supplies for Essential Businesses
  • Residential Facilities / Shelters
  • Profession Services (legal, accounting, insurance, IT, real estate) 
  • Supplies for Cultural/regalia Projects
  • Critical Labor Union Functions 
  • Lodging Business (see limitations in Resolution 285-2020)
All Phases Minimum Regulations: 

  • Designate six-foot distances. Designating with signage, tape, or by other means six-foot spacing for employees and customers in line to maintain appropriate distance. 
  • Hand sanitizer and sanitizing products. Having hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employees and patrons. 
  • Separate operating hours for vulnerable populations. Implementing separate operating hours for elderly and vulnerable customers. 
  • PPE for employees. Provision of personal protective equipment to employees. For retailers engaged in post of sale contact, a plexi-glass barrier shall be erected between the clerk or teller and patron at the point of sale operation. 
  • Online and remote access. Posting online whether a facility os open and how best to reach the facility and continue services by phone or remotely. 
  • PPE required for patrons. All businesses shall require all patrons to wear a mask when on premises. 
  • Cleansing of Common Areas. In areas used by patrons, each business shall require regular cleansing of such areas, preferable between the periods of patron use. 
  • Maintain Patron Registry. Businesses shall maintain a registry of patrons for the purposes of contact-tracing for public health officers. Such registries shall be kept current at all times, for tracking, for the past 45 days. 
  • Industry Standard. Industry standards including CDC recommendations governing each industry must be adhered to.

If you are in need of immediate medical care, dial 911.

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, call Blackfeet Community Hospital’s Coronavirus Hotline at (406) 338-6304 to discuss your condition before visiting a clinic. 

If you DO NOT live on the Blackfeet Reservation, contact your local clinic for instructions.

If you live on the Blackfeet Reservation, click here to find a health facility near you. 

Blackfeet COVID-19 Actions

The Blackfeet Nation is prioritizing our tribal members’ safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Resolution: Approving 2nd Amended Quarantine Order (August 28, 2020)

Resolution: Approving 1st Amended Isolation Order (August 28, 2020)

Resolution: Extending Closure of Blackfeet Tribe in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak on the Blackfeet Reservation Until Further Notice (August 19, 2020)

Resolution: Adopting the Blackfeet Tribal Program Infection/Exposure Response Plan (July 27, 2020)

Resolution: Approving CARES Act Funds for the Solid Waste Program in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic (July 15, 2020)

Resolution: Enacting Isolation Order (July 15, 2020)

Resolution: Approving Interim Employee Status during the Stay At Home Order to July 31, 2020 (July 15, 2020)

Resolution: Approving Amended Quarantine Order (July 14, 2020)

Resolution: Extending Closure of Blackfeet Reservation to July 31, 2020 in response to COVID-19 Outreach (July 10, 2020)

Resolution: Approving CARES Act Funds to Compensate Glacier Family Foods Employees for Hazard Pay (July 9, 2020)

Resolution: Re-affirming Closure of Blackfeet Tribe in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak on the Blackfeet Reservation (June 29, 2020)

Resolution: Approving the Second Amendment to the Blackfeet Tribe COVID-19 Ordinance (June 9, 2020)

Resolution: Extending the Business Regulation Order and Blackfeet Tribal Office Closure to June 30th 2020 (May 28, 2020)

Resolution: Approving the Blackfeet Tribe COVID-19 Business Regulation Order (April 27, 2020)

COVID-19 Alcohol Closure on the Blackfeet Reservation from 6:00 p.m. on through 12:00 p.m. on Mondays (April 27, 2020)

Non-Resident / Non-Member Fishing License Suspended (April 21, 2020)

Cancel All 2020 Community Events (April 8, 2020)

Postpone 2020 Heart Butte Indian Days Celebration (April 8, 2020)

Postpone Browning 2020 North American Indian Days Celebration (April 8, 2020)

Cancel Glacier Half Marathon (April 8, 2020)

Alcohol Sales (April 8, 2020)

Traffic Restriction Order (April 1, 2020)

Closure of Vacation Rental Businesses Order (April 1, 2020)

Stay at Home Order (April 1, 2020)

Social Distancing Order (April 1, 2020)

Quarantine Order (April 1, 2020)

Resolution: Approving the Blackfeet Tribe COVID-19 Ordinance (April 1, 2020)

Amend the Proclamation to “Stay At Home or Place of Residence” (March 27, 2020)

Amended Proclamation: Blackfeet Reservation COVID-19 Ordinance (March 27, 2020)

Proclamation: Blackfeet Reservation COVID-19 Ordinance (March 25, 2020) 

Resolution: Reaffirming Emergency Declaration Addressing the COVID-19 Outbreak for the Blackfeet Indian Reservation (March 15, 2020)

Blackfeet COVID-19 Emergency Declaration (March 15, 2020)

Outside COVID-19 Resources

Other Blackfeet Resources

Click the links below to access relevant Blackfeet documents and applications.

Blackfeet Business License Application