White Earth Nation issues COVID-19 fishing opener safety tips
WHITE EARTH, MINN. – White Earth Nation is preparing for the state-wide Minnesota fishing opener this weekend. Normally White Earth Reservation embraces this springtime tradition with open arms, but this year there are health and safety concerns due to COVID-19.
In agreement with the MN Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) website guidelines, White Earth is encouraging anglers to fish close to home, no overnight stays, bring all needed supplies with you and only go as far as you can travel on a single tank of gas or single charge for EV drivers. In addition to the MNDNR guidelines, White Earth Nation is asking local residents to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by keeping hand sanitizer in cars, wearing a mask when leaving your home, shopping local, using social distancing standards and following other safety guidelines set by the CDC.
Furthermore, White Earth Natural Resources and the Emergency Operations Center created safety guidelines for resorts and bait shops:
• Out of state visitors coming to Minnesota to partake in fishing still need to follow Minnesota’s Stay at Home Order 20-48.
• Encourage customers to practice social distancing standards which includes fishing close to home and following social distancing at all times (i.e. in your vehicle, in your boat, and at the launch). You should maintain at least six feet of separation from anyone who is not a member of your immediate household according to the MNDNR website.
• MNDNR strongly recommends anglers fish close to home during the MN governor’s Stay at Home Order 20-48.
• All state and tribal fishing and boating regulations need to be followed.
• Where possible, it is encouraged to offer curbside pickup while practicing social distancing.
• Employees and customers should wear masks and other protective equipment according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
• Ensure that access to handwashing/hand sanitizing facilities and supplies are available for employees and customers
• Surfaces such as doorknobs, counters, credit card machines and other frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized regularly
• Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, muscle aches, difficulty breathing, etc.) are encouraged to use White Earth’s Rapid Testing Site. First step is to call the Nursing Triage line at 218-936-2738. Specific directions will be provided to you during the call.
• Please visit the MDH and CDC websites for more information regarding how to safely operate your business during COVID-19.
Even though the various guidelines set in place to protect all persons can seem overwhelming, White Earth Mental Health would like to remind everyone that fishing is a relaxation tool that can be utilized during this time. Take time for yourself and enjoy the springtime weather and the warm sunshine.
For more information about MNDNR guidelines, please visit their website at mndnr.gov/fishing. Stay connected to White Earth Reservation by visiting our website www.whiteearth.com or White Earth Nation Facebook page.