There are now currently 10 confirmed cases in Tama County (see chart below for state information as of today). 7 of those belong to Natives of, and around the community. We have many more presumed positives due to direct exposure or people showing some but not all of the symptoms. With direct exposure (you had direct contact someone who tested positive) or even a presumed positive, the recommendations are still the same: STAY HOME, NO VISITORS, TRY TO ISOLATE FROM THOSE LIVING IN THE HOME IF POSSIBLE.
I have received many messages and calls throughout this duration. I am glad people are asking before assuming an answer. I would like to touch base on the testing protocols of the Health Clinic. We cannot test everyone. We have limited tests available. 12 tests available as of today. Our tests are sent to Lab Corp where the results are taking 10 – 14 days to be returned. By the time the results come back, most people are on the mend and feeling better. Again, with or without testing, recommendations above still apply. We are currently evaluating protocols for use of a new lab that would provide results in 2 days. Will provide updates if/when this becomes available.
While cases are beginning to spike in Iowa, one thing to remember as that due to the onset of symptoms, those who are sick are a most likely a result from many businesses still being open 2 weeks ago. The state and the Tribe took steps beginning on March 18 by closing up. With symptoms showing up from 2 – 14 days, it is safe to say the virus was obtained beyond the boundaries of the Settlement which resulted in recent sicknesses. Some with minor symptoms while others have ended up in the hospital. These reasons are some of the logic behind the shelter in place orders. No other community except ours has proclaimed such measures. It is business as usual for everywhere else in the state. This is why it is so important for people to stay home except for essential needs, especially if they feel any symptoms. If we are to stop the spread amongst ourselves, we have to quit visiting people and maintain social distancing. Quit babysitting for people who are not working, quit visiting friends and family. If it is not your place of residence, stay out of it.
There is a Tribal Council meeting scheduled for 03.31.20 at 4pm via phone call. I am going to make the recommendation to Tribal Council for Tribal Operations to remain closed for the same duration as the school and Casino with shelter in place orders remaining active. With no clear indication if Governor Reynolds will continue the closures beyond the 17th, I believe this will provide the Tribe adequate time to make future decisions as it pertains to Tribal business.
Any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
~ Rudy Papakee, Health Services Director