The following is a 3/10/20 press release from the Bay Mills Indian Community:
BAY MILLS — Early today, Bay Mills Indian Community became aware that two of our employees might have been exposed to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) while on out-of-state travel to the Washington, D.C. area. Those employees reported the exposure immediately and are taking steps to distance themselves from others until they can be tested.
In the meantime, our team members may have had contact with students and staff at the Boys & Girls Club of Bay Mills between their out-of-state travels and when they became aware of the possible exposure. Our tribal administration reached out to other public health agencies immediately for advice and guidance.
Out of an abundance of caution, we will be closing our Boys & Girls Club activities (Bay Mills Club, Brimley Club, and Sault Ste. Marie) for the remainder of the week until test results can confirm whether or not our team members have been exposed, or contracted the coronavirus. We recognize that this will be an inconvenience to students and parents who rely upon the after-school activities we provide through our Boys & Girls Club. We also recognize that this may raise concerns about the possible spread of this virus in our community.
It is important to note that we have not confirmed that anybody in our community has contracted the novel coronavirus.
However, our tribal leadership wants to ensure that we take action to prevent the spread of this virus, rather than waiting and potentially putting others at risk. We have many elders and other tribal members with compromised immune systems who are relying on effective public health measures to protect their safety. The most effective method of slowing the spread of this virus is social distancing. This will ensure that our medical centers have the resources they need to treat their patients.
The tribe has suspended all out-of-state travel on official business. We are also encouraging at-risk employees to consider working from home, if possible. That includes employees with compromised immune systems, lung diseases, those over the age of 60, and employees who live at home with at-risk people.
We will do our best to keep you updated, and will release information to tribal members and the community as it becomes available. In the meantime, we encourage you to take simple steps to protect your own health: wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth when you cough, avoid close contact with others who may be sick, and avoid close contact with others if you are experiencing symptoms or may have been exposed.