UPDATE: Jenna McDaniel of the La Paz County Health Department said the Board of Supervisors' meeting was a low-risk exposure for those who attended and they do not need to self-quarantine for 14 days. She said they do need to monitor themselves for coronavirus symptoms.
The La Paz County Health Department said May 7 three new coronavirus cases in the county had been reported to them. One of the individuals who tested positive for the virus was at the La Paz County Board of Supervisors’ meeting May 4. It was some time after the meeting the individual tested positive.
Late in the afternoon of May 7, CRIT Tribal Council Member Tommy Drennan announced on his Facebook page that he was the individual at the Supervisors’ meeting who later tested positive for coronavirus. He said he is feeling no symptoms, and is staying at home.
County Health Department spokesperson Jenna McDaniel said this was a “low risk” exposure for people at the meeting. She said everyone who was at the meeting is being contacted, and that everyone who was at the meeting monitor themselves for the coronavirus symptoms.
The new cases bring the total number of cases in the county to 26. Of these, six are still active. Of the cases that have been closed, there have been two deaths, but 18 have recovered. That means a survival rate of 90 percent for people who have been known to have the virus and have seen their cases reach some conclusion.
Of the new cases, one had direct workplace contact with one of the cases from the McMullen Valley area served by the Quartzsite Fire District. One individual was from the Parker Fire District area, and Drennan is a member and employee of the Colorado River Indian Tribes.
Drennan was involved in a large testing of Tribal employees held May 6 at Irataba Hall. In his Facebook post, he stated that all social distancing protocols were being followed at this testing session.
A memo from Tribal Chairman Dennis Patch’s office stated that Tribal administrative offices were closed May 7 and 8 for cleaning and sanitizing the offices and Irataba Hall. The memo said the employee’s contacts were being traced.
“All employees normally scheduled to work will be designated as COVID-19 admin leave,” the memo states. “First responders will continue to perform duties but must wear non-sterile gloves and N-95 masks in the field of work. Enterprise staff must also continue to wear face masks and non-sterile gloves while on duty.”
The Pioneer called the Tribal offices, and a recorded message said the offices were closed to the public and they were on limited staff. The message referred to a voice-mail box to leave a message, but the box was full.
High temperatures are regularly reaching above 100 degrees as the month of May moves along and summer arrives. It’s hoped the hot weather will kill or at least slow down the coronavirus. While this virus is new, this has often happened with viruses that cause the flu. Greg Bachman of the La Paz County Health Department said this if the first time he’s actually looking forward to a summer in Parker and La Paz County.