Penobscot Nation leaders have placed restrictions on access to Indian Island, after two residents tested positive for COVID-19.

Chief Kirk Francis posted on the Penobscot Nation website that his first priority is protecting the members of the Indian Island community, and so some drastic changes are being put in place, for the immediate future.

Some of the measures being taken to protect residents include:

  • Monitoring of all vehicles coming onto the Island, at the checkpoint. Anyone who is not a member of the community, a tribal citizen, or bringing essential services to the Island will be turned away.
  • All offices that are not essential to the health and wellbeing of the Nation are closed, and all in-person appointments are suspended except for healthcare for 10-days to allow for full safety and risk assessment.
  • Wearing masks whenever residents are in public places, and sheltering at home as much as possible are strongly encouraged. If residents do need to go out for supplies or to check on loved ones, they're reminded of the importance of social distancing, whenever possible. Chief Francis says the priority, at this point, is to stem the spread of the virus, while the people who have tested positive recover.
  • Travel is discouraged, at this time, and anyone who has traveled in recent weeks should get tested for COVID-19.

Testing has been underway and, so far, no new cases have surfaced. Future changes to these policies will be posted on the Penobscot Nation website. Anyone who took part in public gatherings, including Halloween activities, is strongly urged to get tested for COVID-19.