On April 18, the Tribal Chief for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians announced on Facebook that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
Tribal Chief Cyrus Ben released this statement:
“This morning I received confirmation that I have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. I wanted our Tribal Community to hear this from me. Currently, I do not have any symptoms however I have self-isolated. I continue to work as the Chief of this great Tribe and have temporarily moved my office to my home.
This should go to show that all it takes is one person who has been exposed to the virus to go out in public and expose everyone they come in contact with along with the families those people go home to. It is imperative that we as a tribe take this virus seriously. Exposures can come to you from innocent yet uncontrollable circumstances from interactions with others.
If you are sick, even if it’s not COVID-19 symptoms, you should stay home. If there is someone in your household who is sick, even if it’s not with COVID-19, you should stay home. If you have had contact with a positive case, you should stay home. The point is right now we all need to stay home and do our part to get rid of this highly contagious virus.
This is not the time to have birthday parties, social gatherings, etc., but it is the time to pray and stay vigilant. We must think of our fellow community members and how the decisions we make may affect them. The number of positive cases among our Tribal Community continues to rise. I urge you to stay home, social distance and please take care of yourselves.
I will get through this! We all will get through this!
Chin chooka anta. Ahah hash ahni á chikih.”