Ohkay Owingeh confirmed a second case of COVID-19 among its citizens, Governor Ron Lovato said in a July 2, 2020, update describing the situation as one of the “scary moments” the tribe has faced during the pandemic.

The citizen lives off the reservation, Lovato said. But due to potential contacts with community members, the tribe engaged in testing and isolation of affected residents in northern New Mexico. None of them have contracted the disease caused by the coronavirus, he said.

“This is simple enough to state but it takes an enormous amount of time and coordination and I would imagine anxiety to those who came in contact with the verified positive individual,” Lovato wrote in the update.

“To date we have been fortunate and there has been no infection here, but the common denominator is that in every one of these ‘scary moments’, the possible exposure happens because of contact with folks who reside outside our lands,” the governor said.

The tribe engaged in widespread testing in April. About 10-12 percent of citizens living in the community were tested. None of the results from this initial round returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

A second community testing event took place at the Ohkay Hotel Casino on May 21 and May 22. Out of 507 tests, none returned positive.

Before the most recent case, another tribal citizen who lives off the reservation contracted COVID-19. The person has recovered, according to the tribe.

Additionally, a client of the substance abuse center on the reservation tested positive. Employees and other people who may have come into contact with the person were tested. None were positive for COVID-19.

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