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Posted: January 30, 2023
Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation

Image courtesy Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation


January 30, 2023

Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation to continue enforcing mask mandate

TUBA CITY — Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation (TCRHCC) will continue to enforce its mask mandate at all TCRHCC health care locations across the Western region of the Navajo, Hopi, and San Juan-Paiute reservations.

On Jan. 20 the Navajo Nation announced a lifting of the mask mandate across the reservation, with four exceptions: health care facilities, schools, nursing homes, and for those individuals with COVID-19 symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19, or who have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

“The Navajo Nation continues to require masks at healthcare facilities across Navajo Nation due to the number of high-risk patients that visit the hospital and clinics,” said Dr. Amanda Burrage, Pediatrician, and member of the Epidemiology Response Team.  “Health care facilities regularly see patients with possible COVID symptoms. Masks help prevent all respiratory viruses — not just COVID — and help keep healthcare workers and patients healthy and safe. TCRHCC continues to support and enforce the mask mandate at all of our healthcare facilities.”

TCRHCC health care officials explained official numbers for COVID are an undercount because our community has good access to home test kits for COVID.  “Many patients are choosing to test with home test kits, which is a great way to test quickly, easily and repeatedly after a COVID exposure or new symptoms,” said Dr. Burrage. “If a home test is positive, patients call the COVID hotline to report the positive result and be connected to a provider for possible COVID treatment pills.”

Recently, there have been fewer COVID cases. “For TCRHCC we have had less than 20 cases detected by hospital testing for the past two weeks,” said Dr. Burrage. “So far this week (ending Jan. 27) we have had 12 cases detected by hospital tests, and 24 additional cases detected by home tests.”

“We believe this increase in cases is related to some recent large gatherings,” said Dr. Burrage.

She said the Navajo Nation is also reporting low numbers with 53 cases last week through hospital testing. This number also does not include people that test positive on home tests.

“Most people who test positive are doing okay with the current COVID variants that are circulating, thanks to vaccination and prior infection,” Dr. Burrage said. “We still strongly encourage people to make sure they are up to date on their COVID vaccines, including the updated booster that we started offering in September 2022. The updated booster is recommended for everyone six months and older.

COVID vaccination is still available in the drive-up vaccine clinic near the entrance of the TCRHCC campus from Monday to Friday 8-11:30 AM and 12:30-4 PM. Flu vaccines and COVID testing are also available as drive-up services during these same hours.

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