Cherokee Nation receives rapid test kits for COVID-19

Cherokee Nation rapid testing
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TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (KFOR) – Officials say the Cherokee Nation received a limited supply of rapid test kits for COVID-19.

Authorities say the rapid test kits will be used to provide results in as little as 20 minutes for critical patients.

“Having the capability to provide rapid testing for our patients means we can act even more expediciously to protect those who may be infected with COVID-19. That allows us to provide an extra layer of protection to our Cherokee citizens and our communities as a whole,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “We will continue to look for new and innovative ways to address this virus and the impact it is having on our Cherokee communities. I am proud of our health care team for their committment to caring for our patients and stopping the spread of COVID-19.”

As of Wednesday, 54 patients within the Cherokee Nation health system had tested positive for COVID-19 and two had died.

“We understand that waiting for test results can be a tense time for anyone, especially in our current climate; that’s why we are utilizing our existing supply of rapid tests for our most critically ill patients,” said Cherokee Nation Health Services Executive Director Dr. R. Stephen Jones. “Obtaining test kits and testing capabilities is a global challenge during this pandemic, but with our strong partnerships, we can meet the needs of our patients and provide them with answers as quick as possible.”

Cherokee Nation Health Services received 300 rapid tests from Abbott Laboratories, and will receive more rapid tests each week moving forward.

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