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Posted: December 3, 2020

Two more people test positive for COVID-19 on the Yurok Reservation

Yurok OES, Humboldt County implement contact tracing investigation

Two more Yurok Reservation residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total case count to five. The community members are experiencing mild symptoms and are recuperating in their homes. The reservation residents who contracted COVID-19 in November are now fully recovered.

In response to the new cases, Yurok Office of Emergency Services staff, in collaboration with Humboldt County health representatives, have begun implementing a thorough contact tracing investigation to reduce the potential for additional transmissions. Tribal and county contact tracers are reaching out to the people who spent time in close proximity to the two community members during the past two weeks. The Tribe is offering resources to help these individuals fulfill the required two-week quarantine. Both of the new cases involve residents who live on the east side of the reservation.  To safeguard the confidentiality of personal health records, the Yurok Tribe will not release any further details on this case.

“As the spread of COVID-19 accelerates in the surrounding area, it is critical for everyone to continue practicing all of the recommended personal safety measures, such as wearing a mask while outside of the home. These safety measures offer the most effective means of keeping our elders and the whole community safe,” said Serene Hayden, the Yurok Tribe’s Incident Commander. “If you feel even slightly unwell, please refrain from visiting public places and take advantage of the free COVID-19 testing on both sides of the reservation. There is no limit on how many times you can get tested.”

The Yurok Tribe is offering free COVID-19 testing to all residents and Yurok Tribe-affiliated staff. The testing takes place multiple times per week in the parking lots of the Weitchpec tribal office and Redwood Hotel Casino.

Last week, the Yurok Reservation as well as Humboldt and Del Norte Counties moved to Tier 1 on the on the community risk level chart, which is the most restrictive stage. To date, there have been approximately 900 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Humboldt County, 300 of which occurred in November.

A large number of elders and individuals with preexisting medical conditions reside on the reservation. Yurok Health and Human Services, with assistance from other tribal departments, is conducting regular check-ins on those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.

Reservation residents can find testing information on the Tribe’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TheYurokTribe) and at Yurokoes.org. The test is free and open to all. For information about testing in Humboldt County, please visit https://humboldtgov.org/2788/Eureka. If you live in Del Norte County and would like to get tested, please visited the following webpage: https://www.covid19.dnco.org/testing

The Yurok Office of Emergency Services advises residents to follow all personal safety recommendations:

  • Maintain a minimum of 6-feet of personal space from individuals outside of the household
  • Always wear a face covering outside of the home (Wash reusable mask frequently, only use single-use masks once)
  • Do not attend gatherings large or small, including visiting extended family and friends
  • Avoid all contact with anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms
  • Disinfect common touch points in the home
  • Practice cough and sneeze etiquette (cover your sneezes and coughs with your arm. Wash hands immediately after cough or sneeze for additional protection)
  • Perform frequent handwashing – Wash hands every two hours for 20-30 seconds with water and soap)
  • If you feel ill, please get tested and self-isolate
  • Reminder: If you feel slightly unwell and have one or more of the common symptoms of COVID-19, it is advised to stay home from work

Yurok citizens in need of assistance are encouraged to call the Yurok Tribe’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-225-8952.

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