NESPELEM - In an effort to provide up-to-date information regarding the COVID-19 virus and vaccine, the Colville Tribal Health and Human Services Department has launched a new website: staysafecolvilletribes.com/.
The website, which was announced via tribal broadcast email Feb. 16, features information regarding public health and personal protective actions, information on getting the vaccine on the Colville Reservation, information on symptoms and testing on the reservation and frequently asked questions about COVID-19. The website also provides a self-evaluation tool.
The website notes 7 Pillars to perserve our culture and traditions:
1. Stay Hopeful. We’ll get through this together. One community. One purpose. 12 tribes compose the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. You are not alone. We have the resources needed to help you in your time of need.
2. Stay Connected. Social distancing does not mean social isolation. 24% of the tribe are over 55 years old. Protect them by staying socially distant, but remember to reach out to them so they do not become socially isolated. Check in with family, friends and elders by calling, video chatting, or sending an uplifting letter.
3. Stay home. If you are feeling sick, stay home. After the Stay-At-Home Order, the infection rate declined by 58%. Stay home when you are sick except to get medical care or to make essential errands. Know the symptoms of COVID-19 which include: coughing, sneezing, sore throat, fever, chills, body aches, exhaustion, shortness of breath and loss of taste or smell.
4. Stay germ free. Help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Wash your hands often. 20 Seconds of hand washing can save lives. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and high traffic areas daily.
5. Stay protected. Protect yourself and others: get the vaccine and wear a mask.
Wearing a mask decreases the risk of transmitting the virus by 65%. The combination of getting vaccinated and following the CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19. Get The Vaccine. Wear a Mask In Public. Stay 6 Feet Apart. Avoid Crowds.
6. Stay healthy. Boost your immune system to help fight off illness.
Healthy living strategies for your immune system: don’t smoke, eat a healthy diet, stay hydrated, exercise, don’t stress and get enough sleep. Less that 5 hours of sleep a night weakens the immune system.
7. Stay informed. Our community is more vulnerable to COVID-19. American Indians are 4 times more likely to die from illness than the general population. This is because of the higher underlying chronic illness and conditions.