White Mountain Apache Tribe makes emergency declaration
May 13, 2020
WHITERIVER - The White Mountain Apache Tribe made an Emergency Declaration on March 12, 2020, as the severity of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) became increasingly obvious. However, for the Tribe, they began monitoring the situation way before this declaration. The Tribe's Division of Health Program (Health Program) was already tracking the virus in December and soon joined the Arizona Department of Health's Daily AH Partner Call. The Indian Health Service (IHS) even gave the Tribe's Health Board their preparation response to this virus at the beginning of the year.
The Tribe's Health Program monitored this virus as the 'high risk' population associated with this virus paralleled the Tribe's realities in terms of health disparities. As research and surveillance on this virus began showing individuals most at risk, the Tribe's Health Department soon realized this virus could potentially mean bad news for the people of the reservation. The Tribe soon began implementing mitigation efforts to ensure its impact would be minimal.