Chistochina's Months-Long Response To COVID-19

 Cheesh'na Tribal Council Takes A Stand Against Coronavirus Beadwork In Chistochina, For Sale At Posty's Sinona Creek Trading ...

 Cheesh'na Tribal Council Takes A Stand Against Coronavirus

Beadwork In Chistochina, For Sale At Posty's Sinona Creek Trading Post. (File Photo, Country Journal)

August 4th:
The only governments in the Copper River Valley are its small village councils. Fully aware of their governmental rights, the region's small villages have tried to make decisions in an effort to control the spread of coronavirus.

For example, the village of Chistochina (or "Cheesh'na" – its original Ahtna pronunciation) came out with stringent plans almost two months ago, well before the mid-to-late July surge of cases, medevacs and hospitalizations that have hit the Copper Valley as a whole in the past 3 weeks.

June 17th:

Cheesh'na Tribal Council announced "Hunker Down Mode"
NO one allowed unless you live here. We are asking all residents to practice self-quarantining. Reminder – The shower building is closed to the public. The ball park is closed to the public!
Also that day, Cheesh'na Tribal Council announced;
We have a confirmed Covid-19 test positive. The person is not a resident, but has spent time in Chistochina and had contact with Construction employees as well as locals. Mount Sanford Tribal Consortium has the testing capabilities and (is) currently working with the village to get testing done.

We are on lockdown until we have finished testing and tracking. MSTC has a policy and protocol in place. We have a high risk population and ask everyone to self quarantine..

Again that day, the Tribal Council wrote:
Self quarantine is now in effect for two weeks. 

And again, on June 17th, Cheesh'na posted an encouraging update:
People that were in close contact were tested and test results are negative. There are just a few more to be tested in the morning. Everyone is to self quarantine for 14 days. If you have symptoms contact the clinic...the clinic and tribal office has masks and hand sanitizers. Please practice social distancing. Now that the tests are almost all completed, they will run another round of testing to confirm the first test result. The 14 day quarantine is important!

July 14th:

Almost a month later, on July 14th, Chistochina swung into action again, as the general Copper Valley population began to have a surge of positive tests.

On July 14th, Cheesh'na Tribal Council notified its members:
As many have heard, we have positive Covid-19 cases in our region. Cheesh'na Tribal Council is asking our Tribal Members and Community members to practice social distancing and wear a mask in public. The Tribal Office is closed and have limited staff in the office.

At this time being supportive of each other is the best practice. Patients who test positive for Covid-19 are asked to self-isolate. With family giving patients support, assistance, help and dealing with the potential stress, we ask that we remain supportive to our families at this challenging time.

The Mt. Sanford Tribal Consortium Clinic Staff is available for questions you may have in providing care and or questions about the Covid-19.

We ask that you please refrain from asking people who do not live here to come into the community. Please stay home and practice washing hands, keeping your areas of constant use sanitized and cleaned. The office has sanitizers and masks available!
Cheesh'na Tribal Council Office is closed to the public. Please contact the office and leave a message and we will get back ot you. The playground and all the Cheesh'na Tribal Council Campus is closed to the public. Please use masks when in public per Cheesh'na Tribal Council Policy regarding Covid-19. 

Around an hour after that, the Council announced:
Cheesh'na has delivered masks today and will be delivering more tomorrow. Please use the masks when in public places. 


July 16th:

On July 16th, the Council told tribal members:
If you have tested positive for Covid-19 please contact the Tribal Office if you need assistance. For the initial diagnosis we have a care package... Please reach out in positive ways to help our members.

Meanwhile, the other villages of the region, also empowered by federal law as "governmental agencies"  tried to hold back the infection with physical blockades.


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