Reservation COVID-19 response is thorough and ongoing

The Wind River Family and Community Healthcare (Wind River Cares) has had a precise and ongoing response to the COVID19 virus outbreak on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Nearly 14,000 tests have been conducted from March till now. The testing helps to identify where the virus is active within the Native Community. Wind River Cares provides Healthcare services to all Federally recognized Tribal Members and descendants living on or near the Wind River Reservation

The response to COVID19 continues with ongoing testing at Arapahoe Clinic. The hours for testing at Arapahoe Clinic are Monday through Friday from 9 am until noon. Testing hours have been changed to allow for patients to access other medical needs.

The clinic in Ethete is the main testing site for Wind River Cares; with hours being Monday through Thursday from 9 am till 3 pm and Fridays being 9 am till 2 pm. The 2 pm cutoff time allows for the courier service to send the tests to the State Lab in a timely manner. The clinic in Riverton is not providing COVID19 testing at this time.

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Test results are typically received in 3 to 5 days from the test date. Positive test results are contacted first. It is very important to update contact information with the First Impressions team at the time of getting tested. Negative tests take longer to report to the patient due to staff shortage.

Contact tracing allows the Wind River Cares Team to respond to positive cases by locating and setting up quarantine guidelines for the patient. Supplies necessary for a 14-day quarantine are sent to the designated quarantine site. Quarantine sites included the patient’s home and sometimes finding alternative locations. When COVID19 arrived in early March, the transient population was seriously affected and without someplace to go, it made it that more important to establish a quarantine site.

The support given to the affected families includes food, medicine, and cleaning/hygiene supplies. Access to telehealth services is also available. In some cases, Medical Providers are working into the late hours assisting in the quarantine process. Case Managers are essential in delivering basic needs in a precise; coordinated effort.

Wind River Cares Behavioral Health Team are also mobilized to provide coping strategies and talk therapy during the stressful quarantine process. Telehealth has allowed these teams to reach people suffering from anxiety and depression due to the COVID19 quarantine placement.

Decisions that are being made; is based on data from the ongoing testing. Testing is imperative and has provided an insight into the “movement” of the virus. Challenges bring daily changes; sometimes hour to hour changes. With data in hand, Wind River Cares is now prepared to bring more services to their patients.

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“Safety is our first priority. We are able to extend our services because extreme efforts are being made to keep our staff and patients safe. We have policies in place that will be enforced such as requiring masks, pre-screening, social distancing, and good hand hygiene,” stated Lisa Yawakia, Communication Specialist.

Wind River Family and Community Healthcare is currently providing the following services: routine well-child checkups, immunizations, medical appointments, sports physicals, optometry, lab, x-ray, and pharmacy needs. Behavioral Health Services are available through telehealth.

The COVID19 virus has brought about personal awareness and adaptability; Wind River Cares encourages everyone to wear masks, practice social distancing and good hand hygiene.

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