MISSION — Following the state imposing a multiweek “pause” on certain social and commercial activities due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation is laying down some restrictions of its own.

Starting on Wednesday, Nov. 18, and ending on Wednesday, Dec. 2, indoor and outdoor gatherings will be restricted to six people from no more than two households. That also means that all CTUIR restaurants will be moved to takeout only and the cineplex, bowling alley and arcade at Wildhorse Resort & Casino will be closed.

The tribes are also reinstating an advisement against traveling more than 75 miles outside of the reservation for nonessential travel.

According to a CTUIR press release, the new rules come as the Tribes see a surge in new cases of its own. Data from the Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center shows that 10% of the 110 tests conducted over the past two weeks have come back positive as opposed to the 5% positivity rate the last two weeks of October.

As sovereign territory, the CTUIR isn’t bound by the state’s COVID-19 rules, but the Tribes have often imposed their own restrictions throughout the pandemic.

“This virus is causing hardship for many people, both in terms of employment and recreational opportunities, and the overall toll on mental health that results from increased isolation and reduction in social gatherings, but these restrictions are absolutely necessary.” CTUIR Board of Trustees Chair Kat Brigham said. “The virus remains highly communicable and appears to be spreading rapidly as people have gathered indoors more frequently with the cooler, stormy weather that fall is bringing. We need your help to contain it.”

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