A Thanksgiving message to residents of the Wind River Reservation from Dr. Ebbert

Wind River Family and Community Health Care

To all tribal members:

Just a few last thoughts and a warning before the Thanksgiving holiday. Wyoming now has the second-highest rate of infection in the country behind only North Dakota. Local and state politicians do not have the political will to take any meaningful steps to slow this down. The tribe has in place a mandatory mask order on the reservation and has reinstated the stay-at-home order but it is unlikely that you will see a mask mandate in this County even though many counties in Wyoming have now put in place mask orders.

This means it is entirely up to you to protect yourself, your family, and our elders.Please wear a mask anytime that you leave your house. if you have to visit anyone or anyone has to visit you both parties should wear a mask. There are more and more studies that show that wearing a mask helps protect both parties. There are also recent studies that show that mask mandates help improve the economy by allowing people to go back to work with some confidence but they’ll be safe. The protection is not perfect but it definitely lowers the rate of infection.

We are recommending that you not have any large family gatherings over the Thanksgiving holiday. With our infection rate so high these family gatherings have become one of our primary spreader events. Call your family on the phone, tell them that you love them and because you love them you are staying away from them for now. If you have to check on somebody please wear a mask. You should only have an in-person celebration with the people who actually live in your house.

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I wish you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday. I am grateful to all of you who have sacrificed to protect yourselves, your family, and the elders from the pandemic by staying at home, social distancing, and wearing masks. I am especially grateful for the great team that we’ve had, that has worked so hard to try and control this disease on the reservation. This includes the leadership of the Northern Arapaho tribe, the Shoshone tribe, our leadership and staff at Wind River Cares, Eastern Shoshone Tribal Health, the Fort Washakie IHS Clinic, the casino which has pitched in with space and food, all those from the tribe and the clinic that have helped deliver food and supplies to so many tribal members. Also, the staff of the sage West hospitals is working extra hard to take care of so many of our patients.

Please be safe, be pro-life, and wear a mask.

Dr. Paul Ebbert, CMO

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