The Cherokee One Feather presented Dr. Richard A. Bunio, Executive Clinical Director of the Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority, with several questions regarding COVID-19 precautions. Here are the questions and their answers.

Are gatherings secure at this time? If so, what size restrictions would you recommend? Also, what precautions should be taken during the gathering?

All gatherings with people who are not in your immediate household carry some risk. The larger the gathering, the greater the risk that a person in that gathering will be contagious even if they are feeling perfectly fine.

The North Carolina DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) recommends a limit of 10 people and everyone should follow the three W. Outdoor gatherings are less risky than indoor due to traffic. air, but 3W is still recommended.

What exactly do we mean by direct contact?

Direct contact is to be within six feet of a person known to be positive for COVID for 15 minutes or more. Wearing masks reduces this risk. You can get the virus if you are around someone for less than 15 minutes, especially if that person is coughing or sneezing.

After testing, is it still advisable to isolate until you receive your results?

If you have been tested because you are in direct contact or are feeling ill, isolation is recommended.

What are the quarantine guidelines for someone who tests positive? For someone who is considered a “direct contact”?

An otherwise healthy person who tests positive for COVIID must self-isolate for 10 days. Direct contact of a person positive for COVID should be quarantined for 14 days and tested when recommended by public health authorities.

Does the Joint EBCI Information Center suggest it’s safe to travel far from Cherokee for vacation at this time?

Travel is risky, especially if you are traveling to places with high COVID activity. There are safer ways to travel if you have to: in a personal vehicle, avoiding public transport, avoiding large gatherings, and following the three W.

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