Although we have made many investments, distributions of PPE, and continued in our efforts to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the sharp increase in cases beginning in August of 2021 presents new challenges and has prompted us to adapt accordingly.
This newsletter serves as an update of information related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The health of our people and communities are the priority and we work to increase awareness and preparedness through the pandemic. The COVID-19 Task Force continues to monitor the spread of the virus while coordinating with Seneca Nation departments on a response that will be implemented for all Seneca Nation properties.
Many difficult changes have been made to routines and daily lives to stop the spread, and the precautions are even more important now. With the highly transmissible variants that are being identified, we cannot stress enough the importance of being proactive and taking all preventative measures.
The Seneca Nation is initiating a new quarantine and isolation protocol. Our responsibility to the next generations means that we must exert our sovereign authorities and take measures to protect our communities that go above and beyond what the CDC recommends. The new protocol is defined for Seneca Nation employees and supersede quarantine or isolation guidance and orders from other entities (such as local county health departments, NYS DOH, CDC, etc.), so long as the Seneca Nation protocol is more strict and the county/state/CDC/etc. guidance and orders are more lenient.
It is estimated that 31% of individuals remain infectious 5 days after a positive COVID-19 test. Allowing employees to return to work sooner than 10 days puts other employees and the community at risk for further spread of the virus. The Seneca Nation, along with other Native Nations, have witnessed and experienced a disproportionate impact in our communities, including higher infection rates, hospitalization rates, and higher rates of mortality at younger ages. Based on the estimation that individuals remain infectious/contagious between days 6-10, we advise to remain in isolation through day 10 with release on day 11 for anyone who is confirmed positive with COVID-19.
Please be safe and take charge of your health!