Fort Hall- the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes (Tribes) value our community greatly. We are closely following the national, state and regional management of the Coronavirus and are developing contingency plans to respond for the novel coronavirus (covid-19). The Tribes are weighing the needs of our community to ensure adequate health care to those who require it and is within our reasonable response capabilities. Currently, since there are no confirmed cases in Idaho, we are stressing community education, communication, awareness and careful surveillance for potential cases.
Chairman Ladd Edmo states, “Everyone needs to do your part--wash your hands and cover your cough. Prevention is the key.” Due to daily changing health situations, the level of response will be adjusted based on recommendations from the CDC, IHS and the Eastern Idaho Health District. Edmo further indicates, “Our local businesses, including our Casino, gas stations, and grocery store, are all taking extra precautions of sanitizing public spaces.”
The Tribes will provide responsible preventative measures for our community’s health, but wish to allow for continued government and community activities. To help minimize chance for exposure to the virus, the Fort Hall Recreation Department recently postponed this month’s annual 6’Under Basketball Tournament that brings in players from all over Indian Country, to later in May. Any other community events that may be cancelled or rescheduled will be posted on the Tribes official Facebook page.
Additional information will be provided to the community as necessary, as the risk increases to our community. Presently, the risk is minimal.
Tribal Health officials are meeting weekly to report and update on any potential risks. Elese Teton, Tribes Executive Director states, “To safeguard our community and Tribal employees, we are considering restricting employee work-related travels to those states with active covid-19 cases and to keep our people safe from this outbreak.” Meanwhile, other proactive measures are being discussed by the Fort Hall Business Council and Tribal health officials to ensure the health and safety of the community is protected during this time.
If you or a family member is exhibiting flu-like symptoms (fever, signs or symptoms of lower respiratory illness, cough or shortness of breath requiring hospitalization) we ask that you please stay home and call the Fort Hall Indian Health Service (I.H.S) at 208-238-5400 (Monday-Friday 8-5PM) or the community Health Resource Center at 208-478-3987 (Monday-Sunday12pm-8pm) or TEXT any concerns or questions to 208-530-9405 and a nurse will respond.
We encourage families to help “do your part’ by communicating with your loved ones to implement and to use good habits to prevent the spread of germs, here are some helpful tips:
- Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
- Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
- Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, place the tissue immediately into a trash can. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.
- Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand, rub with at least 60% alcohol. Gently massage soap for 20 minutes prior to rinse.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Practice other good healthy habits.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
For more information and updates on Coronavirus cases, please visit: www.cdc.gov.
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare: https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/COVID19/tabid/4664/Default.aspx
American Indian Health Commission:
Videos for Social Media:
https://youtu.be/d914EnpU4Fo (Hand Washing 2 minutes)
Also check CDC’s You Tube “Center for Disease Control and Prevention” channel.