TAHLEQUAH – To minimize the risk and spread of COVID-19 during the holiday season, Cherokee Nation Public Health is recommending CN citizens follow health and safety guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Being fully vaccinated is the best way to have a safe holiday gathering, states Dr. David Gahn, CNPH medical director in a CN press release. According to the release, for those who are not fully vaccinated, wearing a well-fitting mask is recommended when in the presence of others. The release also states those who are visiting high-transmission areas as defined by the CDC should also wear a mask, even if they are fully vaccinated. The CDC’s COVID-19 travel recommendations map is available at www.cdc.gov.
“From the beginning, Cherokee Nation has implemented efforts into slowing and stopping the spread of COVID-19,” Gahn said. “That’s why it’s important for Cherokee citizens and everyone else to continue to take the proper precautions to stay safe, especially during the holiday season.”
Some, including those with weakened immune systems, may not be protected even if they are fully vaccinated, states the release. Gahn recommends those citizens take all safety precautions recommended for those who are not vaccinated, which includes wearing a mask when going to gatherings.
For gatherings, it’s safest to be outdoors rather than in indoors if possible, according to the release. It also states avoiding crowded, poorly ventilated spaces is recommended. The CDC and CNPH continue to recommend social distancing when possible and washing hands often, the release states.
It also states that those who experience symptoms of COVID-19 should be tested and should not host or attend gatherings.
Any member of the public 5 years or older is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at any of the CN’s outpatient health centers throughout the CN reservation. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments can also be made by calling 539-234-4099.