The Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Tribal President Joseph Wildcat Sr. has confirmed the first  COVID-19 case on the reservation in western Vilas County in a press release issued Thursday.

Previously, the Vilas County Public Health Department reported four coronavirus cases in Vilas County. 

“Despite tremendous efforts and sacrifices made by many people in our community, there now is one confirmed coronavirus case involving a resident of Lac du Flambeau,” stated Wildcat in the press release.

He said the tribe is in the process of testing people who came in close contact with the person who tested positive. 

“So far, the rapid testing has been negative and they are asymptomatic or not showing symptoms of being sick,” said Wildcat. “All close contacts will be in isolation for 14 days, following the protocols and monitoring for symptoms. We’re following the same protocols as Vilas County enacted when they discovered the virus arrived.”

Wildcat asked tribal members and the public visiting the reservation to remain calm.

“We expected this day to come and have plans in place. We need to continue to maintain social distancing and hand washing. These are keys to containing the spread of the virus,” said Wildcat. “I want you all to know we are actively working with health-care providers and community health experts. We are tracking and tracing people potentially exposed to the virus. They will be tested and instructed on what they need to do to prevent the spread of the virus.”

Wildcat said the tribal council and emergency response team immediately enacted a plan to limit the spread of the virus. 

“Please know that we’re working every day, every hour, to limit the impact to everyone who calls Lac du Flambeau home,” said Wildcat.