The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma announced Friday the reinstatement of mask requirements at all tribal health facilities due to rising COVID-19 numbers.
“Due to the increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases in Southeastern Oklahoma, it has become necessary to reinstate some of the previous visitor restrictions to ensure the safety of our patients and staff,” said the Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority on social media.
Along with the mask requirement, the tribe will also be restricting visitors.
According to CNHSA, surgery patients will not be allowed a visitor.
Emergency room and clinic patients will only be allowed one parent or assistive person if needed, otherwise no visitors will be allowed.
Labor and delivery patients will be allowed two visitors, but they must be tested for COVID-19 and the patients will not be allowed to come and go once inside the facility.
The significant other of a women’s health patient will be allowed for “certain events.”
Drivers for patients having surgical procedures can wait in the building while wearing a mask and passing a COVID test.
All operating room patients requiring COVID-19 testing will be tested in the parking lot, if possible.
Patients showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be triaged, examined, and swabbed outdoors, when possible.
The requirements will be in place for all eight tribal clinics in McAlester, Poteau, Stigler, Hugo, Broken Bow, Idabel, Atoka, and Durant along with the Choctaw Nation Hospital in Talihina.
The tribe lifted all mask requirements on all tribal properties on May 31.
As of Wednesday’s weekly county update from the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the 10-and-a-half counties of the Choctaw Nation had 199 active cases of COVID-19 with a cumulative total since the pandemic began of 29,469 positive cases, 28,801 recoveries, and 469 deaths.
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