Great Plains Tribal Health Board making changes to better serve patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board and Oyate Health Center have adjusted to the COVID-19 pandemic as best as they could.

Now, with more positive cases in Pennington County, they have put in new policy changes and also introduced some new services to help with the pandemic.

Oyate Health Center and The Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board have put new policies in place to better combat the coronavirus and stop the spread. One of the most important is the launch of a Emergency Operations and Training Center or E.O.C. to help with the COVID-19 pandemic and any future disasters.

They have put in place a tele-health option for patients so they can receive health-related services without having to be in person around other people.

GPTCHB President\CEO, Jerilyn Church said “At the same time they still need that care, so we are asking them to call rather than come in. We are also working with the city to stand up and emergency shelter for the homeless population.”

But one test that needs to be done in person is the testing for the coronavirus but the lack of available tests may be cause for concern.

“We should be getting at least 48 reagents, those are the medium that’s actually used to test with so we should be getting those once a week,” said Church. “About 48 of them, so not a lot but enough to prioritize those that are showing up with symptoms.”

And now with more positive cases of COVID-19 in Pennington County, Great Plains and Oyate are asking that the state communicate with them and be more involved.

“There is room for improvement but we are working on that, we reached out to the state again to talk about how we can work together to do better contact tracing,” said Church. “We had reported the cases immediately to the state, we didn’t learn until later in the week that the families that we reported had not heard from the state.”

Contact tracing is identifying and tracking people who may have come in contact with an infected person and Oyate and the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board believe that would help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News