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Oneida Nation extends public health emergency

Posted at 6:52 PM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 19:52:27-04

ONEIDA RESERVATION (NBC 26) — The Oneida Business Committee has extended the Oneida declaration of a state of public health emergency on the Oneida Reservation until November 26, 2021.

Since March 12, 2020 the Oneida Reservation has been in a state of public health emergency due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The count of positive cases on the Oneida Reservation began to rise significantly in July and August.

"Our numbers dissipated a little bit through the summer, however after Labor Day we’ve seen an uptick in our numbers and they are increasing at an uncomfortable rate, so the Oneida Nation Committee determined to extend the public health emergency order," said Bobbi Webster, Public Relations Director for Oneida Nation.

As of Thursday, Sept. 23, Oneida has 34 active cases of COVID-19 on the reservation.

"Our extension means that we’re going to continue to exercise all of our safety protocols, especially masking, social distancing, and sanitizing," Webster said. "Those are some of the more frequently know protocols and making sure when you come into our facilities, that you are required to mask."

Oneida Nation Chairman Tehassi Hill said he is concerned about the upcoming flu season and what impact that may have on complications with the COVID-19 and the cold season as well.

“We have to continue our diligence, as tired as we all are of the restrictions placed on our world by this pandemic, we have to remain strong to remain healthy ... We have our children and our grandparents to be concerned about, exposing them to the COVID could be devastating," Hill said. "Until we see our numbers decrease, significantly, we must continue to keep our public health emergency order extended. This could be extended well past the end of this year if we can’t gain better control world-wide. We strongly urge vaccination.”

The Oneida Nation is continuing to watch local data and statistics and will act in accordance with the Oneida Medical professionals as they determine how long to extend the public health emergency on the Oneida Nation Reservation.