- By Native News Online Staff
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, tribal officials report that there is typically an upsurge in cases after tribal citizens attend holiday gatherings. This holiday season, there is greater apprehension because of the widely reported Omicron variant that is spreading rapidly away from reservations, particularly in larger metropolitan areas
Enjoying the holidays with family and friends is important, but for the sake of our tribal communities, precautions should be taken to ensure Indian Country is not hit with large surges after the holiday season is over.
On Thursday, the Indian Health Service (IHS) Chief Medical Officer issued a statement the Omicron variant and gathering during the holidays: “President Biden announced new actions to protect the country and help communities and hospitals battle Omicron, building on the robust plan he announced earlier this month to get people maximum protection ahead of the winter and prepare for rising cases driven by the new variant.
We must all continue to stress how critical it is to be vaccinated and to get booster shots before gathering with our family and friends over the holidays. The recent emergence of the Omicron variant has further emphasized the importance of primary vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts to protect against COVID-19. These are important because we know that COVID has disproportionately impacted the American Indian and Alaska Native population.”
The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe share the importance of the holiday season for families, children, and others. In response to large number of active COVID-19 cases; however, they are asking community members to please stay healthy by keeping the following safety tips in mind:
STAY IN YOUR BUBBLE: Limit gatherings to individuals in your immediate bubble.
WEAR A MASK: Wear a properly fitted mask that covers your nose and mouth in all public indoor spaces to help protect yourself and others.
SOCIAL DISTANCE: Stay 6 feet from others who don’t live with you.
GATHERING SPACES: Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
WASH HANDS: Wash your hands often with soap and warm water and/or use hand sanitizer if soap and water not available.
STAY HOME WHEN SICK: Avoid visiting others and traveling if you are not feeling well.
GET TESTED: Get tested if you are symptomatic (showing symptoms)
IF YOU ARE EXPOSED: Quarantine and get tested at least 7 days following a suspected exposure.
From Native News Online: Happy Holidays and Be Well!
More Stories Like This‘Heart’ of Little Shell: Newest Federally Recognized Tribe to Open First Clinic
Hopi Tribe Issues "Red Alert" in Response to Rising COVID-19 Infections
Navajo Nation COVID Update: 129 New Cases and No Deaths
Filmmaker Warns of Increased Vulnerabilities for Indigenous Women and Girls with Impending Flood of Methamphetamine to Indian Country in 2022
IHS Announces Final Rule on the “Buy Indian Act” – Seeking to Do More Business with Indian-owned Businesses
The truth about Indian Boarding Schools
This month, we’re asking our readers to help us raise $10,000 to fund our year-long journalism initiative called “The Indian Boarding School Project: A Dark Chapter in History.” Our mission is to shine a light on the dark era of forced assimilation of native American children by the U.S. government and churches. You’ll be able to read stories each week and join us for Livestream events to understand what the Indian Boarding School era has meant to Native Americans — and what it still means today.
This news will be provided free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.