March 13, 2020
As many of you are aware, COVID-19 (caused by a new coronavirus) is now affecting many people in America. The Kenaitze Tribal Council and Kahtnuht’ana Dena’ina Health Board (KDHB) are reaching out to you to provide accurate information about the outbreak and prevention measures to help contain this disease.
Currently, it takes about 5-12 days from the time a person is exposed to the virus to when symptoms show up. The most common symptoms are a fever greater than 101.2o F, cough and shortness of breath. People with the greatest risk of getting very sick from this virus include older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.
The Tribe is taking several steps to help prevent the spread of the disease and help the people most in need. The best ways to avoid getting sick are:
• Practice good hand hygiene – This includes washing your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds. Avoid touching people and things as much as possible and avoid touching your face as much as possible. If you are coughing or sneezing, do so into your elbow instead of your hands. Use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol when hand washing is not possible.
• If you are sick, stay home!
• Avoid large gatherings – The CDC recommends at least six (6) feet of distance to help prevent the spread of germs. This means avoiding concerts, rallies and other events where large groups of people gather.
• For current travel recommendations and restrictions, see the CDC’s most current information at:
Masks have not been shown to slow down transmission of this virus to healthy people. People who wear them tend to think they are safe from the disease and do not practice the good habits listed above. Again, we strongly encourage you and your family to follow the above recommendations.
If you or your family member develop a fever and cough, please call the Dena’ina Wellness Center (DWC) at 907-335-7500. You will be connected with a nurse to help decide the best way for our staff to assist you. Please do not come into the DWC lobby without calling, in order to help avoid exposing others. A DWC staff member will meet you outside so that you do not have to wait in the waiting room and possibly spread the illness. You will be taken directly to an exam room with a specialized ventilation system to help prevent the spread of diseases like COVID-19. Staff will then work with you to decide the best course of action.
Rest assured that the Tribal Council and KDHB are working closely with the Indian Health Service, State of Alaska and Alaska Native Medical Center to have the most up-to-date information and to get the best care for you.
Please see the enclosed fact sheets about COVID-19. If you have any questions, feel free to call us at (907) 335-7500 and we will be happy to answer your questions.
Chiqinik, Thank you,
Wayne D. Wilson, Jr. Diana L. Zirul
Tribal Council Chair KDHB Chair
Kenaitze Indian Tribe Kenaitze