Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Winnebago Tribe (Nebraska)
Posted: April 23, 2020

The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska announced its first positive case of COVID-19 on Thursday, saying the positive result came from a community member who had visited the tribe’s hospital recently.

The tribe also announced that a second person who doesn’t live in the Winnebago community had tested positive for the virus at the tribe’s Twelve Clans Unity Hospital about a week ago. The hospital serves Native people who live on the Winnebago and Omaha reservations in northeast Nebraska.

“We will work hard, and we will do all our precautions to try and stay safe and get through this as minimally as possible,” said Coly Brown, the tribe’s chairman, during a press conference Thursday afternoon.

The community member who tested positive was tested at their home, according to the tribe. That person is in good condition and remains isolated at home, the tribe said.

The tribe released no further details about the person.

The person is suspected to have contracted the virus through community spread, meaning the tribe doesn’t know how that person got the virus, and the tribe’s public health department is investigating any potential contacts of the person.

“The Winnebago Public Health Department and Twelve Clans Unity Hospital are working in cooperation to take all the appropriate steps to identify potential exposures, ensure necessary isolation precautions are taken, and provide testing to individuals when warranted,” said Danelle Smith, Winnebago Comprehensive Healthcare System CEO. “We continue to urge community members to stay home as much as possible and to practice social distancing if you must go out for essential supplies.”

Mona Zuffante, the tribe’s public health administrator, urged tribal members to continue practicing social distancing and prevention measures, including washing hands often and keeping at least six feet from people outside their families.

She thanked Winnebago tribal employees and others who helped coordinate a recent delivery of 54 food boxes to elders in the community, but she also emphasized the need to keep a distance from others.

“We want to encourage everyone to stay home,” she said. “Stay home whenever possible.”

Winnebago Reports First Known Case of COVID-19 (Press Release)

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