CMF PSA Summary – July 1, 2020
Chairman Mark Fox voiced his concerns regarding the rapidly rising COVID-19 cases across the United States. Various states have seen massive spreads and spikes in their positive cases. Fox stated, “People are getting too comfortable, seeing COVID-19 as a hoax, or even think it’s going away. People do not know of others circumstances, so we need to protect each other. We need to protect our children, elders and those with underlying health conditions.” The Chairman made it clear that the pandemic has not left, and we do not plan to put our guard down. Now that the MHA Nation has a grasp on this pandemic situation, we have learned to adapt instead of panic. We have learned that wearing masks, using hand sanitizer, and social distancing can be effective if done properly. “Don’t let people pressure you into not wearing your mask or practicing social distancing and mitigation measures,” Fox stressed. “Research shows an 85% reduction of COVID-19 spread when you wear your mask.” We need to get past the negative perception and overreactions towards mask wearers, and support each other and ensure we get past this disease.
As case numbers rise, testing numbers will rise. Massive testing events will be held by Elbowoods Memorial Health Center in conjunction with the National Guard for the public in the various segments of the MHA Nation. If this testing event causes a spike in positive cases, it may result in more mitigation measures to combat the spread. Testing events are being held in New Town, White Shield, Mandaree and Twin Buttes. These testing events are open to the public, and everyone is encouraged to participate, whether they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or not. Fox explained that although we have learned and adapted to this situation, we cannot be too careful. “Stay away from hotspots if you must travel. The three leading states with the highest COVID-19 cases are Texas, Florida, and Arizona. If you travel to a hotspot, we recommend that you self-quarantine and get tested right away – symptoms or not,” Fox said.
There are concerns on how or when the schools will be opening, and the Chairman wants to push back the start date of the school year to September if possible to prevent a potential spread of the virus. Fox has been in contact with state officials, the Governor of North Dakota, as well as the board of UTTC. If it can be supported, the MHA Nation is looking towards learning at home or online learning. “This buys us more time, as the vaccine is coming,” Fox stated. The MHA Nation has been working hard to revise how education will be handled, as well as emergency management so we can be better prepared in the future.