San Carlos Apache Tribe brings positive COVID-19 patient from Phoenix to the reservation for healthcare

By Jon Johnson

SAN CARLOS – After being so vigilant and producing no positive COVID-19 cases from residents on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, the tribe willingly has brought a positive patient from Phoenix to its hospital for treatment.

The patient is a tribal member who had been living in Phoenix since February, according to a release from the tribe. The patient was transported to the San Carlos Apache Healthcare Corporation Hospital in Peridot on Thursday and is being held in quarantine.

“This patient had no other healthcare options in Phoenix,” San Carlos Apache Healthcare Corporation CEO Victoria Began said. “Every member of the Tribe has a right to healthcare, and this patient is no different. SCAH will ensure to the best of our ability that this patient gets the best care and treatment, and remains quarantined. We have a special COVID-19 isolation area for this purpose, which has a negative pressure room where the air will not circulate outside the area, and our infection control team is fully prepared. Once recovered and after two negative tests, the patient will be returned to Phoenix.”

The San Carlos Apache Tribe has imposed strict guidelines for mitigation of COVID-19, including limiting the number of people in one place to 10, closing the reservation to non-tribal members, and requiring deliveries to check in before being allowed to deliver their goods. Additionally, anyone returning from out-of-state or the various hotspots around Arizona are required to check in with Public Health Nursing.

As for residents living on the reservation, as of Thursday, San Carlos Apache Healthcare has administered 277 tests with one test currently pending. There have been no positive tests to date from a resident living on the San Carlos Apache Reservation.

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