Please be advised that pursuant to Resolution No. AU-21-121, the Council has mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees of the Tribe’s government and subsidiary enterprises within 45 days, or by September 25, 2021, as a condition of employment. This action was taken upon recommendation of the Tribe’s Emergency Response Commission as a response to the substantial increase in infections, including the presence of the variants, which are more infectious and deadly.
Some 1,017 members of the Tribe remain unvaccinated. In April, for about 20 days, we had 0 cases. According to our epidemiologists, since June, there have been 132 cases, for a 187% increase. Those 20-45 years of age are most at risk. Today, we have 26 active cases with 9 hospitalized. On the Reservation, there is an R-naught value of 2.5, meaning one infected person is now infecting 2.5 others. Moreover, statewide, there are over 2,000 infections per day, and 58% of ICU beds are used.
All employees who refuse or otherwise have no proof of vaccination shall be subject to bi-weekly testing for COVID-19. The Human Resources Department for the respective employee, together with the Tribe’s Department of Health & Human Services, shall coordinate screening, and the results shall be recorded.
An employee may apply to opt-out of receiving vaccination if the employee has a sincerely held religious belief that prohibits such a medical procedure or has a disability. In such case, the Tribe and its enterprises shall make reasonable accommodation, subject to an individual determination conducted by the Human Resources Department for the respective employee, provided that such accommodation cannot impose an undue hardship on the Tribe.
All employees shall submit proof of vaccination to their respective Human Resources Department immediately. This vaccination proof shall be included in the employee’s employment record, subject to disclosure prohibitions of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
As a reminder, everyone is required to wear a mask in public, maintain social distancing and follow the CDC guidelines.
The Tribe continues to coordinate with health officials from Graham and Gila County on contact tracing, testing and quarantining. The vaccine hotline is (928) 475-1310 or a Nurse Hotline at 1-833-361-9550 for any health-related questions. The Tribe’s Public Health Nursing program may be reached at (928) 475-1530 and the DHHS Epidemiologist Dr. Yvonne Lees at (928) 961-3807.
CDC guidelines to follow include:
- Reduce non-essential traveling.
- Wear a face mask or face covering if you have to leave your home.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, remotes and counters.
- Always wash your hands.
- Continue to practice social distancing by staying 6 feet apart.
- Visitors to your home must wear their mask.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Temperature above 100.4 degrees
- Cough & Chills
- Shortness of Breath
- Body aches and/or headaches
- Sore throat
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Runny nose
- Loss of smell or taste
Download the PDF of the Memo here:
Download the PDF of the Tribal Resolution here: