WHITERIVER — According to a Saturday, Jan. 16 email to The Independent from White Mountain Apache Tribal Chairwoman Gwendena Lee-Gatewood, “We have met the first trigger point within Day One of 24 new cases, Day Two of 31 new cases, with a total of 55 new positive cases.”

With the latest dashboard information at hand regarding COVID-19 cases, Lee-Gatewood said the Tribe would begin a 72-hour Shelter-in-Place beginning Sunday, Jan. 17 at 8 p.m. through Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 8 p.m.

“We are 25 cases away from 80 which is the second trigger point which will add additional days to the 72-Hour Shelter-In-Place,” stated Lee-Gatewood.

The WMAT’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) reported in a Sunday, Jan. 17 Facebook post that the number of COVID-19 cases had increased by eight overnight, with five pending and 125 inconclusive tests and 46 deaths. Their active positive cases were at 210.

The Epi-Curve information for WMAT COVID-19 cases and the Tribe’s lockdown periods reveal that that WMAT has gone through three different waves. According to their findings, each wave was subsequently flattened, largely in part due to the Tribe going into a lockdown status to protect the community.

The EOC’s motto is “You Are Safer at Home,” and Tribal members are reminded to practice all precautional measures by the EOC and to get their essential needs prior to lockdown.

Reach the reporter at bbruce@wmicentral.com

Barbara Bruce is a reporter for the White Mountain Independent, covering arts and entertainment on the Mountain and the Pinetop-Lakeside town government.

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