Health

Osage citizens organize to help at-risk populations in preparation for COVID-19

Soon, there could be Osage volunteers bringing groceries, medication, information and more to your front doorstep.

A grassroots organization called the “Osage Volunteer Community Response Group – Covid,” formed on Facebook March 15 and within four hours had more than 70 members. Spearheaded by Osage artist Dante Biss-Grayson, the group is public and inviting more Osages to join their cause.

“Please forward to anyone who wants to volunteer and help out during the Covid Response,” Biss-Grayson posted. “Focus will be Osage Community Members in need during this time.”

He said the group’s focus will fall under the Wah-Zha-Zhi Health Center’s efforts and Village Committees for support. The health center established a task force to minimize the risk of further spread and they are also developing a risk assessment protocol.

The community group will focus on elders and at-risk populations “for the pending surge of patients and economic turmoil that is involved with Covid.”

Tribal member Lisa Myers has volunteered to be the liaison for the group with the health center.

The group is immediately working on the following:

-       Assessing the needs of the three Villages and Osage groups outside Osage County
-       Donation locations, places to store donations, trucks for deliveries
-       Forming a legal and legislation development team for additional resources for any staff or Osages placed on home quarantine, or similar
-       Prayer for their efforts

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on March 15 that there were eight confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma, including counties bordering Osage County. Kay County had one confirmed case and Tulsa County had three.

The OSDH call center for COVID-19 is (877) 215-8336. For daily updates on the Wah-Zha-Zhi Health Center’s response, follow their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/WHCqualitycare/posts/?ref=page_internal