COVID-19 Rates Increasing Across Choctaw Nation Reservation

Published August 30, 2023

Like most areas across the United States, incidence of COVID-19 has continued to increase across the Choctaw Nation Reservation. The Choctaw Nation Department of Public Health has monitored a steady increase in COVID-19 rates across most counties within the Choctaw Nation, a trend which aligns with other areas across the State of Oklahoma and U.S.

Choctaw Nation Epidemiologist, Mason Emert, explains that the uptick in cases was expected, given the amount of expected travel before the end of summer and the start of the new school year. “As summer comes to an end and students are back mingling with their peers and participating in school activities, an increase in COVID-19 and other respiratory ailments was expected based upon historic data trends.”

While this trend was expected, it’s important to be mindful of the common symptoms associated with COVID-19 and to get tested if you start to experience any. Common symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle/Body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea

Individuals who are immunocompromised or have underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 or experience long-term symptoms (also known as long-COVID).

Individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should be tested. Rikki LaRoche, Choctaw Nation Director of Public Health, notes that Choctaw Nation Tribal members and CDIB of other federally recognized tribes experiencing symptoms can be tested at any CNHSA facility at no cost. Please call your closest CNHSA healthcare facility to determine hours of operations and requirements.

CNO associates experiencing symptoms can be tested at Employee Health sites.

LaRoche also wants to remind Tribal Members that COVID-19 care kits are available to CDIB cardholders who have not yet ordered one through the Chahta Achvffa portal.

For more information, on COVID-19 testing at CNHSA facilities, please visit:
COVID-19 Testing

For more information on COVID-19, please visit:
CDC COVID-19 Information