Quinault Indian Reservation closed to visitors; QIN government shut down

Taholah, WA – The Quinault Indian Nation (QIN) announced today that the Quinault Indian Reservation (QIR) is closed to visitors effective immediately.

This change is in response to an increase in COVID-19 infection among households on the reservation.

According to QIN, the last week brought the very first positive tests for Coronavirus to the reservation requiring some QIN households to enter a 14-day quarantine period.

Vice President Tyson Johnston stated on Friday that five new cases had been detected involving QIN. 24 QIN households were in quarantine at that time. On Tuesday, Johnston stated that two construction workers at the Quinault Indian Nation Generations Building tested positive.

The closure of QIN land will be in effect for 14 days through September 6, and longer if necessary.

The QIN states they will reevaluate in 10-12 days and extend the closure if necessary.

“With recent positive tests of some members of QIN households in the first days of quarantine, we decided immediate and major steps are needed to protect the health and safety of our families and neighbors,” said Quinault Indian Nation Vice-President Tyson Johnston. “We are asking all reservation residents to stay home and travel only for essential needs such as food, medicine and medical attention. The QIN government will be shutdown to the maximum extent possible while maintaining essential services.”

Through September 6, the Quinault Indian Nation will close its government operations on the reservation, Minimum essential services “necessary to protect the health and safety of QIN citizens and employees and prevent further spread of COVID-19” will continue.

Those essential services include; meal delivery, medication fulfillment, limited urgent medical care, testing for COVID-19, police, fire, the minimum necessary government financial operations and certain other essential services to be identified.

Access to the Quinault Indian Reservation is now restricted to village residents, Quinault tribal members, essential government employees and Quinault Indian Nation Enterprise personnel.

This closure will not impact businesses on tribal trust lands such as the Quinault Beach Resort & Casino and Q-Mart locations, or travel along Highway 101 near Lake Quinault.

 “The recent spread of COVID-19 to our families and communities is a reminder that we are all in this together and we all have a responsibility to be informed and follow safety protocols. The lives of our loved ones and neighbors are on the line,” said Johnston. “Let’s all step up our efforts to avoid group gatherings of more than one household, avoid other large gatherings and practice social distancing which by most accounts is the first and best way to avoid the spread of COVID -19.”