The health and safety of our community is one of Tribal Council’s top priorities. Effective July 6, we are requiring individuals to wear face coverings in most situations while on Tribal property.
The rule applies to Tribally licensed businesses and outdoors when people can’t stay 6 feet apart from others who are not in their household. Appointments are still required to visit Tribal buildings. Employees and visitors who wish to enter a Tribal building should wear masks and expect a sign-in process.
We have relied on our medical experts since the beginning of the COVID-19 health crisis and continue to rely on them today. We also recognize our neighbors are taking the sensible measure of requiring face coverings in public situations, and even though we are a sovereign nation, we are taking the same approach.
Our Puyallup Tribal Health Authority explains why face coverings are so important:
Puyallup Tribal Health Authority monitors the work of other public health agencies to study the spread and effects of the novel coronavirus across the United States. We use their work to help inform our own recommendations.
We now know from recent studies that between 20 percent and 40 percent of people with COVID-19 do not show any symptoms but can still spread the virus to others. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity, for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing, even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.
So what can we do about it?
Wearing a face covering can significantly reduce the incidence and spread of COVID-19 and help flatten the curve in our community.
Until a vaccine or cure is developed, face coverings and social distancing will be our best defense.
It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-foot social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus. You do not need to wear a cloth face covering in your home, when you are only with people in your household, or when you are alone in your car. You do not need to wear one when you are outdoors and people are far apart.
Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
Is there a right way to wear a mask?
Yes, first, remember to wash your hands before and after you wear the mask. Avoid touching it after it is on your face. When inside, avoid touching the front of the face covering by taking it off from behind. The cloth face should securely cover the nose and mouth.
Who should not wear a mask?
Children younger than 2 years of age or anyone who has trouble breathing, unconscious, incapacitated, or unable to remove the mask without assistance.
REMEMBER: Staying home is still the safest way to prevent spreading COVID-19. Wash your hands often, stay home when you are sick, and stay away from people who are sick. If you have to go out, wear your face covering, stay 6 feet apart from others who are not in your household, wash your hands frequently, and stay local.