TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (KFOR) – Tribal leaders with the Cherokee Nation say a member of the tribe has tested positive for COVID-19.
Officials with the Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Health Services say the male patient is a citizen from Adair County in his 40s. He received a positive test result on Tuesday and is self-quarantined.
“The Cherokee Nation and our health care professionals are taking every precaution to ensure our Cherokee citizen is protected and has access to our health care team,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “I recognize that the presence of this virus is in our communities and can affect any one of us. My family feels that same concern. That’s why I ask that we all continue to pull together while making every effort to be proactive against the spread of COVID-19. This includes taking care of ourselves, our families and our elders, and staying indoors as much as possible. The Cherokee people have always been resilient and we will continue in that tradition. In the meantime, our thoughts are with our fellow Cherokee.”
At this point, Cherokee Nation health officials are investigating to determine how the patient was infected. Health officials are also contacting people who may have had direct contact with the patient.
“I want to ensure all of our tribal citizens, employees and community members that we are taking great steps to protect our workforce and Cherokee families,” said Dr. R. Stephen Jones, Executive Director of Cherokee Nation Health Services. “We are prepared and ready to care for any of our citizens who may be affected by this virus.”
Health care professionals urge everyone to practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from other people in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Also, you are urged to stay home unless travel is absolutely necessary and wash your hands often.
If you become sick, call your health care provider first before heading to a hospital or emergency room.