Travel restrictions ramp up on San Carlos Apache reservation

Contributed Photo. Crews construct another checkoint booth on the San Carlos Apache reservation.

SAN CARLOS —With the number of positive cases of COVID-19 climbing on the reservation, the San Carlos Apache Tribal Council is enacting a number of strict measures aimed at limiting the virus’ spread.

The latest is reinforcement of travel restrictions onto and off the reservation.

In all vehicles leaving the reservation, officers at checkpoints are required to record the information of all people in the vehicle; record the destination to determine if leaving is permitted; and determine if all are following other guidelines, including not violating curfew, wearing of a mask, etc.

For vehicles entering the reservation, checkpoint officers will record driver and passengers’ information, including driver’s license number and tribal ID; proof of tribal membership; record where the vehicle is traveling from; and direct any non-tribal member — including delivery drivers, repairmen, contractors, etc. — to a temperature screening station before being approved for entry to the reservation.

The Can Carlos Apache Healthcare Corporation reports a total of 51 tribal members testing positive for COVID-19 — 18 on the reservation and 13 off — with 17 fully recovered and two deaths.

Graham County is at 55 positive cases with two deaths, while Greenlee County is at 12 cases with one death.