Wednesday, August 12, 2020

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Update from Chairman Frazier: no new positive cases detected, some results still pending

So far, no new cases of COVID-19 have been found as a result of mass testing conducted yesterday, said Chairman Harold Frazier in his noon radio address. Over 888 tests were conducted yesterday during the mass drive-thru testing event, and a total of 343 tests have been processed, all negative. The South Dakota State Labs said they will expedite the processing of the ID NOW test kits from Cheyenne River. Results are expected back later today or tomorrow morning.

In total, 3,022 tests have been conducted to date. There is one current hospital admission and there are seven open beds in the Cheyenne River Health Center in Eagle Butte. There are 1,240 test kits available at this time.

Total Positive Cases

Medical Hotline Number 24×7                605-964-0563

Behavioral Health Hotline                      605-964-1545

Command Center                                 605-964-3637

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Free Testing

Free drive through testing for any resident of the reservation is at the following locations. You do not have to be Tribal member to be tested for free. More testing dates are to come. Go to any site, you do not have to wait for them to come to your town or area.

Other Notes

The Chairman addressed the question of whether or not schools will open in the fall saying there are still a lot of unanswered questions. He acknowledged it’s a struggle for parents and younger kids.

“Education is really important especially at a younger age. But their health and their lives are more important than that,” he said.

Tribal schools and BIA schools don’t have resources to make the institution really safe. It’s a challenge because it’s hard to plan for the unknown.

Chairman Frazier said the Tribe is watching the numbers all around grow and grow every day.

“We’re not really getting direction from the leadership, it’s pretty hard to do that when you hear one thing and the next day you hear something totally different.” He called attention to the “high positive rate with younger people just makes it more of a concern to ensure their safety.”

He said, “For the state of South Dakota we have not hit our peak yet and we don’t know what it’s going to look like when we do so. It’s a tough thing to wait and see but that’s basically how I cannot see what education looks like at this point.”

When asked if the Tribe knows where the positive cases are coming from, he replied yes. The 33 positive cases came from two or three known cases that came through the checkpoints and that the medical team is working to avoid community spread.

Speaking to the checkpoint deputies and quarantine-site deputies, he said, “Don’t think you let down with the number of cases.”

All this points that the plans the Tribe has developed are working.

“Now is this time. We’re in it. Let’s step up. Let’s work together as a team. Work together as a family and try to get everybody safe,” said Frazier.

A caller asked even if you wear mask all the time, should you still get tested? Yes, said the chairman before stating that he will speak with the Attorney General and ask if vendors coming on to the reservation to deliver supplies are required to wear a mask.

If a business needs extra cleaning supplies or support to help sanitize, please reach out to the Command Center and get onto the schedule to do a deep clean.

The task force has not yet made a decision to allow sports events such as a volleyball tournament or softball game.

Possible Direct Contact at These Businesses

If you went to any of the following businesses from July 1-5 you may have been exposed to a positive case. If so, please seek out testing. AmPride, Family Dollar, Eagle Stop, LTM, Dairy Queen, any of the fireworks stands.