By: Angel Ellis, Director
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma– Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief David Hill announced on March 2 that the tribal health systems experienced it’s first day with zero new positive COVID-19 tests.
Chief Hill said on social media “I have waited a long time to make this announcement, but I received my daily update this morning from the Department of Health and for the first time in nearly a year we had zero positive COVID tests at our facilities yesterday.”
Chief Hill also said it is still too early to celebrate.
“This is no time to spike the football and celebrate however, our diligence must continue,” Chief Hill said. “Continue to schedule your vaccinations if you haven’t received them, and encourage friends and loved ones to do the same.”
“Wear your mask, wash your hands and keep watching your distance.”
This news came as new CDC guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals was released.
According to the CDC the new guidance for fully vaccinated individuals, those who had their second shot more than two weeks prior can visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without a mask or physical distancing. They can also visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing. The CDC guidelines also say that a fully vaccinated person can refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic.
While that might be encouraging for some, the CDC still advises that even fully vaccinated people should continue to take precautions in public like wearing a mask and adhere to social distancing guidelines. The CDC also still recommends that fully vaccinated people wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease.
Large and medium social gatherings are still discouraged by the CDC, and anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are still encouraged to be tested even if they have been vaccinated.
The MCNDOH data reflects that while the tribal health systems may not have had new positive tests, other health systems are not experiencing the same trend.
For instance on the same day that the MCNDOH recorded no new positive tests, the State of Oklahoma still confirmed about 146 new cases. Within the tribal boundaries there have been a cumulative total of 120,011 confirmed cases within the MCN jurisdiction as of March 5.
New cases are still being recorded on the reservation and that means there are still risks to Mvskoke citizens especially those who have not been vaccinated.
But according to MCNDOH, “The COVID-19 vaccine will help prevent COVID-19, and the currently available vaccines are highly effective in the prevention of the virus.”
Those wishing to receive the vaccine are encouraged to call the vaccine line and sign up at 918-758-3601.