CASPER — Emergency room staff at the SageWest hospital in Riverton allegedly turned away potential COVID-19 patients from the Wind River Indian Reservation at the start of the pandemic, Northern Arapaho Business Council Chairman Lee Spoonhunter told state lawmakers Monday, leaving tribal members to figure out their care on their own.

Spoonhunter said that tribal members seeking medical treatment were then driven away from the facility in the backs of sheriff’s trucks and placed in the care of the Wind River Health Clinic, which had been treating patients at a transient camp on the tribe’s grounds in Fort Washakie.

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