Tribal Council met in special session today and determined that the Shelter In Place Declaration will stay. All Tribal entities will remain closed until Monday, April 20th. The council will review this as more information and details come into place as to the extent of the spread of the corona virus both on the settlement and in the state. Staff will continue to be paid.
TO STOP THE VIRUS, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT WE ALL STAY HOME AND FOLLOW SOCIAL DISTANCING PROTOCOLS.
From Health Director Rudy Papakee:
As of March 31, there are 11 positive cases within Tama County. This number will continue to increase as more testing becomes available. The good news is that all of the Natives who tested positive to date, are recovering. While Iowa has not peaked with cases across the state, the effects of closures and social distancing has still yet to be felt. However, with symptoms of COVID-19 taking 2 – 14 days to manifest, from a public health standpoint we are hoping to start seeing the results of prevention efforts paying off over the next couple of weeks.
These prevention efforts are still needed from all of you reading this. Continue social distancing, do not visit others in their home, don’t allow people into your home, practice good cough and sneeze etiquette, and by all means, stay home if you are sick. I know this may sound like a broken record but with no vaccine or a cure for the disease, these steps are necessary to ensure we minimize those infected. With no timeline projected, your efforts will be rewarded when life can return to normal.
Information changes daily on the virus and while there is no cure, I am sure some of you have read or even heard from the President that hydroxycholorquine (HCQ) and azithromycin are a potential cure. The FDA recently announced the emergency use of the drugs even though this is an unproven treatment. Patrick Bolte, Meskwaki Chief Pharmacist, in an email stated, “ Limited data showing either drug works and both are on national shortage. Grinnell was told not to use azithromycin because it was not showing efficacy (it shouldn’t because COVID is a virus and azithromycin doesn’t treat viruses). HCQ is restricted to admitted patients that 1) have a +CT scan, +fever and require oxygen or 2) +COVID test, +fever and require oxygen.” Dr. Frost, Meskwaki Medical Director, in a follow up email stated, “ I have not received any supporting memos from CDC or WHO regarding these treatments in the outpatient setting.” With this information the Meskwaki Clinic will not be prescribing either medication for anyone who tests positive within our facility. If additional information comes forward that supports the use, the Clinic will reevaluate their protocols.
Finally, I want to thank all of you who continue to abide by the shelter in place initiative and those following the social distancing protocols. I know this isn’t easy as we are a social group already. But we as a community have the ability to stop the virus from infecting others but we must remain diligent in our daily activities.
Real time updates are provided through Facebook on both the SETT and KSETT pages and on our website at www.meskwaki.org. Please watch for updates as they become available.