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Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority Tests Cherokee County Residents, Two COVID-19 Positive

Courtesy of the Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority
On April 8, the Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority tested tribal members, their descendants and household members in Cherokee County.


On Sunday, it was announced that two Cherokee County residents tested positive for COVID-19 through The Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority(CIHA). 

CIHA started offering drive-thru testing across the Qualla Boundary including Snowbird in Graham County on April 2. 

On April 8, CIHA expanded testing to Cherokee County by offering a drive-thru location to tribal members in the county, including those who were asymptomatic, as well as, their descendants and household members. 

Cherokee County has been a hotspot for COVID-19 in the far-western counties with 10 resident cases and 1 death. The county is about 60 miles from the Qualla Boundary.

Most recently, it was announced that a Lowe's employee in Murphy tested positive for COVID-19.The employee had continued to work for almost two weeks while being symptomatic.

Since March 1, the CIHA hospital has administered 227 tests with 131 negative results. 

On Sunday, Cherokee County Health Department announced that two of the tests administered by CIHA in the county came back positive. 

The health department says neither person had been in contact with anyone known to be infected with COVID-19. Both were asymptomatic and are now in isolation in Cherokee County. 

The health department and CIHA are working together on contact investigations to identify close contacts of these individuals and test for the virus as needed. 

CIHA is still waiting on 93 testing results. The next drive-thru testing for tribal members will be on Monday at 1pm. Times and locations are in the image on the right. Click the image to zoom in. 

Credit Courtesy of The Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority
The Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority has been offering drive-thru testing since April 2. Here are this week's testing locations.

The Cherokee County Health Department advises, in addition to isolating, if you become sick with a respiratory type illness and are in one of the following categories, please contact the department at 828-837-7486 or your primary care provider to determine if you need to be tested:

• Healthcare worker

• 65 years and older

• Underlying health conditions such as chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma; serious heart conditions; people with weakened immune systems, severe obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis, liver disease.

• First Responder

• Essential worker

Lilly Knoepp serves as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina. She is a native of Franklin, NC who returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.
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