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Virus spikes take North Dakota tribes ‘back to square one’

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FILE – In this June 18, 2014, file photo, North Dakota Indian Affairs Commissioner Scott Davis, right, speaks at North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D. Davis says the state’s tribes are “back to square one” after recent coronavirus outbreaks linked to July 4th events. The primary counties where the state’s five federally recognized tribes are located are all ranked in the top 20 for the number of virus cases per capita in the last two weeks. Davis says tribal leaders are taking the virus seriously and that he has warned the pandemic will probably last a long time. (AP Photo/Dave Kolpack, File)

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Indian Affairs Commissioner Scott Davis says the state’s tribes are “back to square one” after recent coronavirus outbreaks linked to July Fourth gatherings.

The primary counties where the state’s five federally recognized tribes are located are all ranked in the state’s top 20 for virus cases per capita in the last two weeks.

Davis says tribal leaders are taking the virus seriously and that he has warned the pandemic will probably last a long time.

Spirit Lake Nation Chairman Douglas Yankton, whose tribe has suffered an outbreak in recent weeks, says dealing with the virus has been “really challenging.”

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