Today, the San Carlos Apache Tribe (“Tribe”) announced the presence of the COVID-19 Delta Variant among the members of the neighboring White Mountain Apache Tribe. The Variant is understood as more infectious and deadlier.

James Darragh, MD, the Chief Medical Officer for the Tribe’s San Carlos Apache Healthcare Corporation (“SCAHC”), said, “We have received a public health notification from the White Mountain Apache Tribe reporting two confirmed cases of the Delta variant. This new variant strain of Covid-19 is more infectious and deadlier. It is likely to come to San Carlos. I urge all unvaccinated patients over the age of 12 to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. Acting now could prevent a subsequent surge of infections.”

Chairman Terry Rambler said, “We must continue to be vigilant, especially given the presence of this new Delta variant. If you have not been vaccinated, you owe it to yourself, your family, your friends and our Tribe to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

The COVID-19 Delta variant B 1617.2 was first identified in December 2020 in India, and the first case in the United States was diagnosed in March of 2021. It is now the most common variant in the United States and accounts for 50% of cases. A recent study shows that the durability of vaccines can provide protection for years, and another study shows that available vaccines do have significant protection against all current variants in the United States, including the Delta variant. No Delta variant has been identified on the Tribe’s Reservation; however, some gene sequence tests are pending.

The Tribe has stocked both the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. These have been reported as up to 95% effective with mild side effects (pain and swelling at injection site, as well as mild to moderate body aches, low grade fever and chills).

On the Reservation, the daily rate of infection (R-naught) for the Reservation is 1.02, with only 5 active cases, including 1 hospitalization. There has been a total of 4,087 infected with 22 cases reported to be the UK Variant B-1117, while there have been 57 deaths on the Reservation, and another 11 off-Reservation, for a total of 68. Nationally, there were 33.8 million cases as of July 6, deaths approach 606,000. In Arizona, on July 6, there were 900 new cases.

The Tribe continues to coordinate with health officials from Graham and Gila County on contact tracing, testing and quarantining. The vaccine hotline is (928) 475-1310 or a Nurse. Hotline at 1-833-361-9550 for any health-related questions. The Tribe’s Public Health Nursing program may be reached at (928) 475-1530 and the DHHS Epidemiologist Dr. Yvonne Lees at (928) 961-3807.

CDC guidelines to follow include:

  • Reduce non-essential traveling.
  • Wear a face mask or face covering if you have to leave your home.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, remotes and counters.
  • Always wash your hands.
  • Continue to practice social distancing by staying 6 feet apart.
  • Visitors to your home must wear their mask.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Temperature above 100.4 degrees
  • Cough & Chills
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Body aches and/or headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of smell or taste

Contact: Tara Kitcheyan, SCAHC Chief Patient Experience Officer 928-475-1250 or tara.kitcheyan@scahealth.org

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