The Menominese Nation is facing its most serious threat in decades: the virus.
The virus is spreading at a faster pace than in years past, and the health officials are trying to figure out how to contain it.
“It’s definitely a challenge.
It’s not the only challenge,” said Dr. Patrick Fenton, a medical epidemiologist at the state Department of Health Services.
“We have a lot of questions and we have a ton of work to do.”
Menominiewas one of the most affected tribes in the nation and the second-most affected state, after the Nipissing Nation.
But for the past week, the disease has been on a downward trajectory.
The state’s chief medical officer, Dr. Eric Batey, said that while the disease had stabilized in Menomino County, “it has taken some time for that to happen.”
Dr. Bateer said the state had already had some reports of the virus being transmitted in Menos, an area in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
He said the Department of Environmental Quality is now trying to determine whether there is enough testing to determine the virus’s level of spread.
And the state Health Department says that Menominis tribal government has reported more than 1,100 cases of coronavirus since the outbreak began in June, including 527 deaths.
The Menos tribe is part of a small but influential group of tribal leaders that have been in a standoff with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources over water rights.
Officials say they fear the water will become contaminated and could bring the tribe’s own troubles with the state into sharper focus.
In an email, the tribe said that its tribal members are taking precautions and are working with officials to keep up with the spread of the coronaviruses, but that the health and public health implications are too great to ignore.
“If our lives were at risk, it would have been a very different situation,” said Josephine Lauterbach, president of the Menoans, referring to the threat of the disease.
“I feel like I’ve been there for a while and it’s still not over.”
The tribe has been fighting the DNR’s use of water rights to prevent its own men from accessing the water, saying it has a right to it and that it should be treated with respect.
The DNR contends that tribal members have been using their rights for years and are still using them illegally.
“Our men are not doing anything illegal,” said DNR Chief of Public Health Kevin Miller.
“The DNR has been trying to take away our water rights for decades, and we continue to stand strong against them.”
But Lautarbach said that in recent months the tribe has seen a dramatic drop in the number of people coming to visit its traditional campground.
The number of men who come to visit has gone from about 300 a month earlier to fewer than 50 a month, she said.
She said that since June, the number has dropped to about 10 to 15 a month.
“They just don’t come anymore,” she said of the men who are visiting.
The tribe is also dealing with a shortage of medicine.
According to the DNP, it has been holding nearly 30,000 doses of medicine for treatment of people who contracted the virus from drinking contaminated water.
But the DNI says the tribal medicine shortage has not resulted in more deaths or hospitalizations, which would be expected given the shortage.
The health department says that the men have been able to get some help from the local hospitals, but not enough to treat everyone who comes to visit.
The Department of Public Safety says the Menos Health Department has seen some progress in reducing the number and severity of cases, but has yet to find the cure.
Dr. Fenton said the DNF has been working with local tribes, but it is still unclear how the tribes’ cooperation will translate into more effective public health efforts.
“You need to find some type of consensus,” he said.
“These are very tribal issues.
They’re a very tight-knit community.
We’re dealing with these issues at the local level, but at the national level, we need to get better coordination between the tribes.”