As a result of the upcoming expected surge in COVID-19 for the entire state of Mass and with the safety and well-being of the entire community in mind.  The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe will be moving into additional mitigation efforts of essential and non-essential operations at the Community and Government Center.  As a result of the Coronavirus being airborne and causing expanded cases within Barnstable County, Surrounding Counties and State, in addition to the high potential of exposed tribal members within the community, we must act in an expedient manner to ensure that the safety and well-being of our community members and essential staff are in the forefront.

Community and Government Center Closed to All Workers Starting Tuesday, April 14

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Community and Government Center will be closed for non-essential and essential personnel on Tuesday, April 14th 2020 with limited access for the time being, the EOC will remain activated for Emergency Management and FEMA operations. These new implementations are based on the current COVID-19 surge within the community and in conjunction with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Stay-at-Home advisory.  The facility will undergo a “deep cleaning” and air handler system cleaning over next week as well.

Massachusetts reported 70 new coronavirus-related deaths and 2,151 new cases on Thursday.  Public Health officials have issued warnings that a surge in cases is expected within days or a few weeks. The projections are for as many as 172,000 coronavirus cases in Massachusetts over the course of the pandemic, with a potential peak in hospitalizations between April 10 and April 20.

In an effort to reduce virus exposure to Tribal members and essential personnel, new implementations have been put in place with careful considerations taken into account towards continuation of providing essential services to the community.

New Hours for MWT Food Pantry

The MWT Food Pantry will be open this Monday, April 13, 2020 from 3:00pm – 8:00pm for pantry clients that have not yet picked up for the month of April and will be open also on Friday, April, 17th 2020 from 12-4pm to ensure additional community access for these much needed food and supplies. Please arrive no later than 7:30pm on Monday.  The food pantry will reopen again on Monday, April, 20th from 12-4PM and will be closed for reminder of week.  New safety measures have been put into place in addition to the reduced hours and days at food pantry.  There will be no physical contact between any items being distributed to the customer and the food pantry staff, to limit any potential chances for exposure.  Please pull up to pantry and call; 508-477-0208 Ext 189.  Food pantry coordinator will come outside and take order.  No menus or pens etc.. will be exchanged and PPE will be worn at all times.   

Food Pantry to Distribute Face Masks, Gloves and Hygiene Resources to Tribal Members that Work in the Medical Field

For tribal members who currently work in the medical health field, additional face masks, gloves and hygiene supplies will be available Monday and Friday as well.  Please let the food pantry coordinator know to add you to the MWT Priority Medical Personnel list, if not yet added.

Tribal Elder Food Delivery Service will be Suspended

Keeping in line with the efforts to reduce virus exposure to tribal members and essential personnel. The standard Tribal Elders Food Delivery service will be suspended for the week of April, 13th 2020 – April, 17th  2020 and will be revisited before the weeks end.   Alternative resources to provide daily nutritional requirements to the “lunch and learn elders” are being provided.

We understand how hard these additional new measures and changes are during this new way of life, but we need to ensure that we are following the recommended guidance from public health and emergency officials during this pandemic, to ensure that our tribal community remains strong and gets through these times together in support of one another.   Remember, Stay Home, Stop the Spread, Save Lives.

Do Not Gather in Groups at Herring Run and Other Fishing Spots

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Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and State COVID-19 Testing

If you think you have been exposed to COVID‑19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Indian Health Services Clinic is conducting COVID-19 testing.

ANY enrolled Native American Tribal member is allowed to receive potential testing.  All patients should call 508-539-2561 prior to walk in visit or appointment.  

COVID-19 testing guidance –

If you believe you may need a test, first contact your health care provider. If he or she recommends that you should be tested, but their facility cannot offer the test, obtain a  referral and contact one of the facilities listed within these link’s: Additional COVID-19 Testing Sites in Massachusetts or Nationwide COVID-19 Testing Locator

You may need to undergo an additional eligibility screen before you can be tested.

If you have a clinician’s referral, contact one of the sites listed to make an appointment. These sites do NOT take walk-ins and require an appointment.

Make a Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread

Please see this link for info on how to use: Use Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow Spread | CDC

There is new guidance and recommendations from the CDC on wearing cloth face masks:

We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms. In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

You can read more here: https://www.cdc.gov/…/prevent-getting…/cloth-face-cover.html.

The link above also includes a quick video demonstrating how you can make your own cloth face mask at home using a simple piece of cloth and two rubber bands.

COVID-19 Food Assistance

Please see this link for: The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) 

DTA assists and empowers low-income individuals and families to meet their basic needs, improve their quality of life, and achieve long term economic self-sufficiency.

Please see this link for: Women, Infants, & Children Nutrition Program (WIC) 

WIC is a nutrition program that provides healthy foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to healthcare and other services, free of charge, to Massachusetts families who qualify.

Please see this link for: The Greater Boston Food Bank

Social distancing to help slow the spread

Please see this link for: Tips for Social Distancing

  • Follow guidance from authorities where you live.

  • If you need to shop for food or medicine at the grocery store or pharmacy, stay at least 6 feet away from others.

    • Use mail-order for medications, if possible.

    • Consider a grocery delivery service.

    • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others, including when you have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store.

      • Stay at least 6 feet between yourself and others, even when you wear a face covering.

  • Avoid large and small gatherings in private places and public spaces, such a friend’s house, parks, restaurants, shops, or any other place. This advice applies to people of any age, including teens and younger adults. Children should not have in-person playdates while school is out. To help maintain social connections while social distancing, learn tips to keep children healthy while school’s out.

  • Work from home when possible.

  • If possible, avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis.

  • If you are a student or parent, talk to your school about options for digital/distance learning.

Stay connected while staying away. It is very important to stay in touch with friends and family that don’t live in your home. Call, video chat, or stay connected using social media. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations and having to socially distance yourself from someone you love can be difficult. Read tips for stress and coping.

COVID-19 Prevention

Many of the things you do to help prevent colds and the flu can help protect you against other respiratory viruses, including COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Clean things that are frequently touched (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.

  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hands.

  • Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with others.

Even if you do not have symptoms, stay home as much as you can and practice social distancing if you must go out. That’s because you can be sick with COVID-19 and spread the illness to others as much as 48 hours before you have symptoms.

There are currently no vaccines available to protect against this novel coronavirus infection.

10 Tips for At-Home Quarantine or Self-Monitoring

Please see this link for: Tips for At-Home Quarantine or Self Monitoring

If you have been directed to quarantine or self-monitor at home because of possible COVID-19 contact:

  1. Stay home from work, school and away from public places.

  2. Monitor for symptoms and take your temperature twice daily. If you develop symptoms or a fever, then call your healthcare provider immediately.

  3. Get rest, stay hydrated and exercise if possible. If you are able to exercise, do so in your home or yard. Avoid locations where you may come into contact with others.

  4. If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider ahead of time and tell them that you have been exposed to COVID-19.4

  5. For medical emergencies, call 911 and notify the dispatch personnel that you have been exposed to COVID-19.

  6. Take everyday actions to prevent the spread of germs. Clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover your cough/sneeze. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  7. As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.

  8. Avoid sharing personal items with other people in your household, like dishes, towels and bedding.

  9. Clean all surfaces that are touched often, like counters, tabletops and doorknobs. Use household cleaning sprays or wipes according to the label instructions.

  10. Make the best of your time at home by teleworking if you’re able or catching up on reading, exercising or other hobbies.

Resources

  • Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Health Services Clinic; All patients should call 508-539-2561 prior to walk in visit or appointment.   

  • Visit FEMA’s website with Coronavirus Resources

  • View today’s current cases in Massachusetts.

  • For the latest on case counts in the United States, visit the CDC website.

  • March 24 DPH Public Health Advisory:  Stay-at-Home and Safe Practices                                                                      

  • March 23 Order for non-essential businesses to cease in-person operations: COVID-19 Essential Services

  • Sign up for Massachusetts COVID-19 text alerts: Text COVIDMA to 888-777.

  • Call the information and referral hotline, 211.

  • COVID-19 Frequently asked questions:

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/frequently-asked-questions-about-covid-19#what-should-i-do-if-someone-in-my-household-is-quarantined?