QIN residents seeing spike in COVID-19 cases; not just on tribal land

An outbreak of COVID-19 cases has occurred among Quinault Indian Nation residents.

In the January issue of The Nugguam, tribal officials say that there has been a recent surge in cases among Quinault Indian Nation citizens.

According to the zip code map released by the Grays Harbor Health & Human Services department, over a two week period, COVID-19 cases specifically in the Taholah zip code increased from 5 on December 4 to 22 on December 18. 

This accounts to a 340% increase in that time period.

The Nugguam states even more cases among QIN residents.

QIN government offices closed for Thanksgiving on Wednesday November 25th and remained closed from Monday, November 30th through Friday, December 4th in response to the recent surge.

They say that at that time there were 58 QIN citizens in quarantine. 

The newspaper states that “It is believed that a large share of the increase in cases is due to family gatherings and QIN citizens who live off reservation meeting QIN families who live on the Reservation. The rise in cases also comes with recent complaints of group gatherings on the Reservation involving underage drinking. QIN authorities remain on the lookout for this dangerous behavior.”

Due to the surge ahead of the Special General Council meeting on December 12, the decision was made to postpone that meeting. 

QIN Councilwoman Gina James said to the newspaper, “Our urge to gather together for Thanksgiving combined with the recent surge of infection is a perfect storm for the pandemic to get out of control in our community, putting lives at risk and overwhelming the Nation’s limited response resources,”  

James added, “The emergency government closure will help reduce the spread, but we also need every Quinault citizen to do their part by avoiding group gatherings until we get through this incredibly dangerous time of the pandemic.”

The newspaper states that recent increase in cases is among QIN citizens who live in the following zip codes: 51 who reside in zip code 98587 are in quarantine; seven who reside in zip code 98520 are in quarantine. 

Isolation cases: one lives in zip code 98520; two in 98587; two in 98569; one in 98541, and one in 98562. 

If you believe, you have been exposed or have any concerns or questions, you are asked to contact the QIN COVID Call Center, (360) 276-2445.

For more information contact Gina James, Quinault Indian Nation Councilwoman (ICT, Public Information Officer), [email protected], (360) 276-8211, x 4205