Northern Arapaho mourn passing of tribal elder who died after testing positive for COVID-19 - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Northern Arapaho mourn passing of tribal elder who died after testing positive for COVID-19


CASPER, Wyo. — The Northern Arapaho Business Council said on Sunday, Aug. 2 that a member of the tribe had died after contracting COVID-19.

The Wyoming Department of Health confirmed on Monday the death of a Fremont County woman who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 and had been hospitalized. Wyoming’s COVID-19 related death total rose to 27.

“Our beloved Tribal Member was a well-respected and loved elder who committed her life to our Creator,” the Northern Arapaho Business Council said on Sunday. “She was a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend who exemplified that love, comfort, peace, and caring to all of our people. She was very devoted to our Creator and her family.”

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Northern Arapaho Business Council Chairman Lee Spoonhunter said: “This virus has taken so much from us, and every death leaves a hole in our Tribe that cannot be filled.”

“On behalf of the entire Business Council, we grieve for the victim and pray that our Creator help ease the pain of her family and friends,” Spoonhunter continued.

The Northern Arapaho Business Council also encouraged tribal members and Wind River Reservation residents that a stay-at-home order remains in effect “in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

“Chairman Spoonhunter urged the Arapaho people to continue to observe all health guidelines,” the announcement adds. “That includes avoiding gatherings and wearing a mask or cloth face covering when in public, particularly when social distancing is not possible.”

Spoonhunter added: “We all have a role to play in fighting COVID-19. By following the public health guidelines, we can protect our community – especially our elders and others who are most vulnerable.”

The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:

What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email:

  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.