Chairman Frazier announced Monday that the total case count has increased by two to 72 positive cases. There are three admissions in the service unit and five open beds. One of the hospitalizations in the service unit for COVID-19 was released yesterday. The other two COVID-19 cases have been referred out for higher level care and are stable.
The chairman said a total of 5,056 tests have been conducted with 4,984 negatives. There are 3,234 test kits available. There are 13 active cases with 58 recoveries and one death.
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A caller followed up on a question that has carried over from several days. That is the RT PCR test? The chairman said he heard from the caller saying the question is, “How many cycles of application is a cut off point for the tests we use?”
Editors note: According to the CSC web site, “The CDC 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase (RT)–PCR Diagnostic Panel detects the SARS-CoV-2 virus in upper and lower respiratory specimens. It is designed to be used with an existing RT-PCR testing instrument commonly used to test for seasonal influenza virus.” www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/virus-requests.html
The chairman did not know the answer. The chairman said there are 992 ID-NOW tests available, a total of 3,234 tests available. He said the tests are accurate. A subset of them are sent to the State labs for confirmation and they come back 100% accurate. The chairman said at 16 cases the tribe is at Level 3. If the cased get down to 10 the tribe can do to Level 2. He said it’s really important to monitor traceable cases versus community spread.
Dr. Loescher asked if quarantine measures are working. The chairman said it’s hard to separate families and there have been instances where parents in quarantine infected children and vice versa, but that the virus has stayed contained within quarantine sites.
Dr. Loescher called the attention of listeners to the Eagle Butte school briefing which as been moved to Friday at 1:00 pm. Dr, Loescher said KIPI is broadcasting educational updates from various school boards on the air at the 3 pm hour.
A caller asked if the tribe had any solutions for students who do not have computers. The chairman said he had heard, unofficially, that Takini and Tiospaye Dopa are buying equipment for students. He said he heard that students in Dupree have to attend school in person unless they have a doctor’s note, but that is not official.
He said Timber Lake has offered the option of sending kids to school or having them go online, but he is unaware of any technology purchases in Timber Lake. He will follow up.
A caller asked if the tribe is doing school clothing grants this fall. The chairman said this has been discussed past several days. He will discuss with Treasurer. Comments asked if funds could be in a bank card to allow for on-line shopping. Dr. Loescher asked if the chairman would prefer people to shop online or go off the reservation to get better deals. The chairman said everyone should follow CDC guidelines and, if you do go, allow for social distancing. He said he has been told Walmart is requiring masks of customers.
“We are starting slowly to gather the data and the numbers to justify why we’re doing things and to show so that there’s more support by everybody…We’re not trying to hurt anybody or be mean to anybody. We’re just trying to take care of everybody and to save lives, ensure that our residents here remain healthy,” said Frazier.
A caller followed up to say that the Eagle Center, K-12, will be providing Chrome books and laptops to students.
A caller asked they the tribe isn’t being stricter with border patrols? The chairman said that of 67 cases only six are travel related out of 190,000 vehicles that have come and gone through the checkpoints. He said things seem to be working. The checkpoints are the first line of tracking and monitoring and they are doing an awesome job.
A caller asked about speeding on highways and gravel roads and wonders if traditional travel enforcement has been diverted to other places. The chairman will mention it to the Chief of Police and have them adjust shifts to monitor and catch speeders.
A caller asked if COVID diagnosed admissions to the Eagle Butte IHS service unit are included in South Dakota State reports, and are they identified as part of the “ever been hospitalized” or currently in hospital count by the State? The chairman believes they are. He said the tribe, the state and tribal health are in daily contact and share data. He said the reports he gives on the radio for CRST are the most up to date and accurate for Cheyenne River Indian Reservation and sometimes the State numbers lag by a day or two.