SRPMIC President Martin Harvier – August 28 Update

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Hello, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members! 

I wanted to start by offering condolences to the family and friends of Tohono O’odham Nation police officer Bryan Brown, who was killed on August 27 in the line of duty. On behalf of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, we extend our prayers and condolences to Officer Brown’s family and friends, the members of the Tohono O’odham Nation and its leadership.

COVID-19 Testing Results

As of August  28, we have conducted 4,641 COVID-19 tests in the Community. Of those, 280 Community members living here tested positive and 233 have recovered. There have been 388 non-Community members living within the Community tested; of those, 51 were positive and 44 of them have recovered, and that is good news.

Right now we have 40 active COVID-19 cases within the boundaries of our Community. Although we have seen those numbers drop, now we are seeing them rise again. We need to continue to follow the protocols that have been put in place. Continue to maintain your social distance, wear a mask, avoid large gatherings and obey the curfew. 

We are encouraging everyone to do their part to help keep these numbers down. Right now five individuals are hospitalized. We must keep them and their families in our thoughts and prayers. 

Community Services Available

Regarding the COVID–19 restrictions that we’re living under, the Salt River Police Department reports an increase in domestic violence calls and the calls for services. Remember that crisis and counseling services are offered here in the Community; you can call Behavioral Health Services at (480) 362-5707 or the SRPMIC Crisis Hotline at 1-855-331-6432. Share those phone numbers with others who might need this information. Please utilize the services we have available to you here in the Community. 

Drug and Alcohol Issues

The Salt River police and fire departments have seen increasing cases of overdoses here in the Community. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Community was making a concerted effort to tackle substance abuse (both drugs and alcohol) on the Community. Unfortunately, due to the stress caused by COVID-19 and the quarantine, calls related to substance-abuse issues have been increasing. Unfortunately, some of these calls are for overdoses; so far this year, there have been 42 calls for overdoses. Our emergency response personnel are equipped with Narcan, and from the reports we received from 2018, 52 lives have been spared thanks to administration of Narcan by emergency response personnel. This issue with drugs in the Community is very serious. There are drugs out there that are very dangerous. The Community provides substance-abuse services; please reach out for help if you or a family member needs it.

2020 U.S. Census

Census workers are now out in the field knocking on doors. The report we received indicates that 1,000 Community homes have not yet responded to the census. That’s very concerning to us as elected officials, because our level of funding for schools, health services, and other Community programs and services depends on how many individuals are living within the boundaries of the Community. So let’s all be counted. When you see the census workers come, put on your mask, open your door and fill out the forms. Community households that complete the census are entered in a raffle drawing. This week’s winner of the laptop is Manuel Aguilar, and the winner of the 55-inch TV is Teresa Cruz. You can go to www.2020census.gov to fill out the census quickly and easily.

I want to encourage everyone to be safe and take care of your families. Remember to Shield Up!