Governor's Office

John Raymond Johnson

The position of Governor is one of the five elected officials that comprise the Executive Committee.
John R. Johnson is the current Governor of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma. The office of the Governor shall be accountable for the exercise of those duties specifically assigned to him by the Absentee Shawnee Tribal Constitution, and such additional authorities which may be delegated by either the General Council or the Executive Committee.  He shall be held responsible for executing the policies established by the General Council.   
The Office of the Governor currently has oversight of the AST Police Department, Emergency Management, Building Blocks II, Building Blocks III, WIA, TERO and the Food Pantry.   
Mr. Johnson practiced as an Ophthalmic Finisher-Dispenser for 35 years before establishing his own business in Optical in 2004.  He continues to show his determination and leadership in the business field.
Governor's Update on COVID-19 Response
In order to ensure continuity of communication, I began meeting regularly with the Absentee Shawnee Tribe’s Emergency Management Response Team on Saturday, March 14th. As you are aware, we have taken a broad range of preventative measures to help protect our members, our employees and our patrons. Let me ensure you that our Emergency Management Response Team is diligently monitoring the evolving public health situation and briefing me on all updates.
In addition to the actions taken (see below), we are holding daily Emergency Operations Center (EOC) briefings at 9am and Tribal Government Impact Updates at 4pm. During these meetings, we review and address status reports from tribal, community, state, and national perspectives. We are also working around the clock to address our members' needs, particularly our Elders and our high-risk population to include assuring homebound patients receive their Title 6 meal services.
At this time, I am encouraging our Tribe to follow the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines – frequent handwashing, avoid non-essential travel, limit social gatherings to less than 10, and stay home if you can. I cannot state strongly enough that if you must get out, please practice social distancing and regular hand washing. These measures protect you and your family. Continue to check the AST website and Facebook pages for information; I assure you that we will keep you updated on any policy or procedural changes.
Here is a timeline of actions taken to date with the most recent listed first:
  • Aug 11, 2020

    The Absentee Shawnee Tribe is proud to announce that our Emergency Management team is National Incident Management System (NIMS) compliant. NIMS is the first-ever standardized approach to incident management and response. This system was developed by the Department of Homeland Security and establishes a uniform set of processes and procedures that emergency responders at all levels of government will use to conduct response operations. We greatly appreciate the Emergency Management team for taking the courses required for this certification, and we know this standardized system will be extremely helpful as we move forward in the fight against COVID.

  • Aug 3, 2020

    Last week, after reverting back to Phase 1 of the AST Recovery Plan, we began mandatory COVID testing for staff. The Executive Committee as well as Directors and essential employees were tested initially. We are happy to report that all results from last week's testing were negative. We will begin a second wave of testing this week for remaining employees. We also had all buildings sanitized and deep cleaned on Friday. The EC plans to reevaluate our situation later this week. We will keep you updated on our plans for reopening.

  • July 31, 2020

    Oklahoma continues to report record high COVID positives. The ASTcomplex will remain in Phase 1 of our Recovery Plan for at least one more week. The Complex is closed to visitors and non-essential staff. Our Executive Committee will reconvene toward the end of next week to review the situation with Emergency Management. We will then make the determination as to whether to move back into Phase 2 or prolong Phase 1. As we are coming into this weekend, many will be preparing to go back to school. As you are shopping for back to school essentials, please remember to follow CDC guidelines while in retail stores. If possible, we recommend placing your orders online and utilizing curbside pick-up. Have a safe weekend.

  • July 27, 2020 AST Revert back to Phase 1 and mandatory testing

    The Absentee Shawnee Tribe reverted back to Phase 1 of our Recovery Plan Monday July 27. In order to ensure we are doing our part in protecting against community spread, our essential employees and Executive Committee members began taking mandatory COVID tests this morning. We greatly appreciate the willingness of our staff to protect co-workers and tribal members. A big thank you to our Health team for administering the tests. Also, please remember the complex remains closed to all visitors at this time. Tribal operations continue, but we ask that you handle your business via email or phone. Thank you for your patience.

  • July 24, 2020 AST Revert back to Phase 1

    Due to an increase in community spread, the Absentee Shawnee Tribe has determined that it is in the best interest of our employees and tribal members to revert back to Phase 1 of the AST Recovery Plan. Effective, Monday, July 27, the Tribal Complex will be open to essential staff and the Executive Committee ONLY. You may continue to conduct business via phone, e-mail, and postal service. We will update you on our plans for reopening when more information is available.

  • July 16, 2020 - Announcements

    UPDATE - Campus Mask Policy

    Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, the Executive Committee is mandating masks be worn at all times while on campus. This is effective immediately. This precautionary step is being taken to decrease the potential for community spread. If you do not have a mask, a mask will be provided. Tribal employees will receive additional guidance tomorrow (July 17) on this new policy. In the meantime, if you should have any questions, please contact Chad Larman, Emergency Management.

    Masking Requirements
    CDC guidance has been updated to address asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission (transmission from infected individuals who may or may not have symptoms) of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In an effort to ensure and protect the health and safety of all Tribal members and employees, the Executive Committee has mandated the proper wearing of face coverings/masks while on the Tribal Complex. Therefore, In addition to actively screening everyone for temperature and symptoms as they arrive to the complex, we will now be requiring everyone (patients, visitors and staff) to wear face coverings-masks. (unless under the age of 6, have trouble breathing, are unable to remove the face covering themselves, or other limiting conditions)
    Patients and Visitors:
    • To wear their own mask. If they do not have a mask, we will provide them a mask.
    Tribal Staff:
    • Masking requirements apply to all tribal staff.
    Do I have to wear the mask the entire time I am at the complex?
    Our goal with this directive is to protect everyone from community spread of the virus. Masking is meant to accompany adherence to physical distancing and practicing frequent hand hygiene. If you are in a private location and not in the presence of others, you do not have to wear a mask. Otherwise a mask should be worn at all times.
  • July 9, 2020 - Announcements

    Tribal Complex in Shawnee, Announcement
    On Thursday, the Absentee Shawnee Tribe was notified an employee was PROBABLE for COVID-19. We have not received confirmation at this time; however, out of an abundance of caution we have decided to close the Shawnee complex Thursday (July 9th) and Friday (July 10th). Our cleaning crews will start a terminal cleaning process tomorrow. All areas this individual may have visited will be deep cleaned to help prevent the spread of infection. We will keep you updated on this situation.
    Thunderbird Casino in Norman, Announcement
    The Absentee Shawnee Tribe and Thunderbird Entertainment want to inform our tribal members, employees and guests that on July 9, the Thunderbird Casino in Norman received confirmation that two employees tested positive for COVID-19. The employees were on site the evening of July 8; both were properly wearing mandated personal protective equipment (PPE). The employees are recovering and are currently quarantined at home.
    Out of an abundance of caution, and in order to protect our employees and guests, Thunderbird Entertainment will close the Norman casino at 10pm tonight (July 9). The environmental service team will conduct a thorough cleaning of the casino. The casino is expected to reopen Saturday (July 11) at 10 am.
    The Absentee Shawnee Tribe and Thunderbird Entertainment continues to follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and social distancing and encourages guests to do the same. Should you experience symptoms of COVID-19, please call the AST Health System Hotline at 405.695.1787.
    Thunderbird Casino Shawnee remains open and will continue operating regular business hours.
  • July 1, 2020 - Holiday Weekend Safety

    Tribal members, COVID-19 case numbers are on the rise. As we are heading into a holiday weekend, I would like to remind you to continue to take precautions and follow CDC guidelines. Please continue to wear a mask when you can. Also, take a look at this article published by the CDC on how to help slow the spread of the virus.
    I am happy to announce that the EC passed a resolution today that allows for every enrolled Absentee Shawnee Tribal member to receive General Welfare assistance for the hardships we are all dealing with during this COVID-19 pandemic. Enrolled AST adults will receive one payment of $3000, and every enrolled child (17 and under) will receive one payment of $1500. Members must have been enrolled on or before June 1, 2020. But, in order to receive your payment, EACH eligible member MUST fill out an application (parents will fill out the application for their minor children) and submit to the Tribe. The application will be posted on the Tribe's website Monday, and we will also have staff at the multi-purpose building handing out applications and accepting them from 9am to 1pm Monday (June 15), Tuesday (June 16) and Wednesday (June 17). All members will have to provide a copy of their CDIB card. The last day to turn in applications will be December 1, 2020. I really hope this money will help our members during these tough times.
  • June 12 2020 - Hello All,

  • June 3 2020 - Hello All,

    The Executive Committee has heard the issue and concerns of Tribal members regarding the upcoming Elections. I fully understand and see your point of view but as your Governor I do not feel that I have the means to intervene with the Election Commission’s decision in light of the ruling of our tribal court. It would also be a conflict of interest for the EC to get involved, when there are two presently serving members who are running for office in June. The EC and I, will not interfere with the Election Commission’s management of our tribal elections.
    Governor Johnson
  • May 28, 2020 - CARES Funding Update

    Upon my recommendation, the Absentee Shawnee Tribe created a committee to oversee the funding released to our tribe from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. We are working on plans and programs for the immediate distribution of these funds. Please keep in mind there are many regulations and terms attached to these dollars, and money must be spent accordingly. The following are several programs we are working towards finalizing:
    • General Welfare Income Relief Program (open to membership)
    • Tribal Member Business Support Program (open to membership)
    • Renovations and upgrades related to COVID prevention and recovery
    • Emergency Management Equipment
    • Emergency Food Bank
    We are working closely with government officials, auditors, and others to finalize our internal processes for distribution. We will keep membership updated, and we thank you for your patience
  • May 28, 2020 - Cloth Mask Distribution

    In an effort to keep our citizens safe and healthy, the Absentee Shawnee Tribe and AST Emergency Management have procured reusable, cloth masks to supply to every Tribal member (within boundaries and at-large). Distribution will begin on June 2nd and can be accomplished in three ways:
    • Pick up from 10am – 12pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the checkpoint located at the main entrance of the administrative complex in Shawnee,
    • By hand-delivery, or
    • By mail
    If you choose to have your mask hand-delivered or mailed, please contact Chad Larman at 405.275.4030 ext. 6391 to make arrangements.
  • May 22, 2020
  • May 9, 2020 - The Absentee Shawnee Tribe is in the process of reopening the Shawnee Administrative Campus. As previously stated, the AST Recovery Plan consists of 4 phases. Phase one will begin on Monday, May 11th. Elected officials, department heads, and essential employees will return to campus to perform necessary functions. In the coming days, all other employees will be notified by their management team on expected return-to-work dates.

    Regarding tribal members and campus access, the AST campus, although open, is running with a minimum number of personnel. We recommend if a tribal member requires assistance, please call or email a director with your question. If a trip to campus is needed to remedy an issue, we will schedule an appointment to ensure the correct staff member is present and available to assist you. We appreciate your consideration during this time. Our priority is the health and well-being of our tribal members and employees, and we strongly believe opening in phases is in the best interest of everyone.

    The full Proclamation 2020-04 can be viewed in full -- CLICK HERE.
  • May 1, 2020- The Absentee Shawnee Tribe initially issued a declaration of emergency on March 18, 2020. Based on public health information and emergency management data, we have extended the declaration to May 24, 2020. AST officials are working on a four-phased approach to reopen the campus.

    Phase 1 will open the complex to essential staff ONLY. Department heads will work with employees to determine who is deemed essential during this initial phase, and guidelines and restrictions will be strictly enforced. Currently, our target date for initiation of Phase 1 is May 11th. The start dates for Phases 2, 3 and 4 will be dependent upon the successful implementation of Phase 1.
    Again, we are taking this approach as a matter of caution. Our primary objective is the protection of our employees and members. We will continue to follow guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).
    Please continue to visit AST's website and Facebook page for updates on our COVID-19 Recovery Plan.
  • April 15, 2020 - The Absentee Shawnee Tribe continues to meet on a daily basis to ensure all levels of our Tribe are in constant communication during this time. A few weeks ago, I mentioned an emergency and information alert system. I'm happy to announce this program is live! Please visit the AST Emergency Management webpage to register today. The Tribe will be pushing out information through this system, including weather alerts and other critical messages. You can choose to receive this information in a variety of ways - email, text, or phone.
    The Tribe continues to work with a variety of federal agencies on COVID response reimbursement programs. We have been pleased with the awards to this point, and we anticipate additional funds will become available.
    The AST Shawnee Headquarters will remain closed until April 30th. At that time, we will reevaluate the public health situation and determine if it is safe to reopen. Please be patient, as we have instituted these closures to protect our employees and our members. The decision was based on sound public health and safety advice in coordination with state and federal officials.
    The COVID peak has now been pushed back slightly for Oklahoma and is estimated to begin early next week. It is vitally important that our members and employees continue to abide by CDC guidelines. Current positive cases within our jurisdiction are as follows:
    Oklahoma County - 483
    Cleveland County - 294
    Pottawatomie County - 28
    Oklahoma total - 2263 positive cases
  • April 9th - I wanted to quickly update the Tribe on just a few things. We continue to meet daily to discuss the AST response to COVID-19. The peak is estimated to impact Oklahoma next week. Please continue to take precautions and follow the guidelines and rules put in place to protect you.
    Please note the Holiday hours for the AST Health System are below:
    • Friday, April 10th (Good Friday)
    Little Axe Health Center Pharmacy will be OPEN from 9-5
    PlusCare will be OPEN on Good Friday from 9-5; last patient will be accepted at 4:30
    Little Axe Health Center Clinic closed on Good Friday
    • Saturday, April 11th
    Shawnee Clinic Pharmacy will be OPEN from 9-1
    Little Axe Health Center Pharmacy will be available from 9-5
    PlusCare will be OPEN on Saturday from 9-5; last patient will be accepted at 4:30
    • Sunday, April 12th
    The AST Health System will be CLOSED on Sunday in observance of Easter
    This includes all facilities and pharmacies
    The Shawnee Clinic remains closed until further notice
    In regards to the positive COVID numbers in our jurisdiction, they are as follows:
    Cleveland County - 212
    Pottawatomie County - 20
    Oklahoma County - 317
    Lastly, this holiday weekend is usually marked by large, family gatherings and events; however, this year it should look very different. Please make the very best of this time with your family, but remember to follow CDC guidelines and social distancing protocol. It is for your safety and the safety of your loved ones.
  • April 7, 2020 – As the number of positive COVID-19 cases continue to grow, the AST has determined additional preventative measures should be taken. Yesterday, I amended the original AST State of Emergency Proclamation to include additional restrictions as well as our own Stay-at-Home order.

    • What this means:
    • You can visit a doctor or a pharmacy
    • Buy groceries
    • Purchase food and beverage on a take-out, curbside or delivery basis
    • Outdoor activity with your family
    • Work at an essential business (AST essential businesses are defined in the proclamation)
    • Shop for cleaning and maintenance
    • What we are asking you not do:
    • No organized gatherings on tribal properties of 10 or more
    • Please do not get out to shop for non-essential items such as gifts and apparel (buy online!)
    • Visiting public playgrounds
    • Getting personal care services
    • Attending gyms, golf courses and sporting fields.
    Please know that the actions the Tribe is taking are to protect our members and our employees.
    You are our greatest asset, and we want everyone to remain safe during this time.
  • April 2, 2020 – We continue to meet daily to assess the public health situation. Currently, we are reviewing the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill and what that will mean for Tribes. $8 billion dollars has been set aside for Tribes as a stabilization fund. Today, there was a conference call with the Department of Treasury and Tara Sweeney, the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs. This gave tribal leaders an opportunity to discuss proper and fair allocation of these funds. We will know more in the coming days what this will look like for the AST.
    Oklahoma is continuing to deal with rising positive COVID test results. The current numbers for our jurisdiction are as follows:
    • Oklahoma County – 216
    • Cleveland County – 121
    • Pottawatomie County – 9
  • April 1, 2020 – Today marks the 23rd day our Emergency Operations Center has been functional. I am extremely proud of all of our employees for their dedication and hard work.This is a stressful time, but our citizens and our staff have made our Tribe’s safety a priority.

    It is a time of constant change, but here are a few things we want to make our members aware of:
    • Due to the threat to our members’ health, the Absentee Shawnee Tribal Court entered an order yesterday, March 31st, to postpone the upcoming election until it is safe to reschedule.We will update you on a new date as soon as we are made aware.
    • As you can imagine the federal reimbursement process is very in-depth. We have numerous personnel working on reimbursement and grant documentation to ensure the Tribe receives funding to cover some of the expenses we have incurred during this pandemic.
    • We also greatly appreciate the donations our Emergency Operations Center continues to receive. We are now receiving daily shipments of personal protective equipment that our medical staff and frontline employees need to safely do their jobs.
    • Unfortunately, there continues to be community spread throughout Oklahoma.More testing labs are now operational; it is projected that Oklahoma State University is now able to process 2300 tests per day.It is only a matter of days before the University of Oklahoma will have their lab on line as well – this will increase the State’s testing capabilities by an additional 1500 tests per day.

      Current numbers within our jurisdiction:
      • Oklahoma County – 192
      • Cleveland County – 93
      • Pottawatomie County - 6
  • March 30th –

    It is unfortunate that I must report the Absentee Shawnee Tribe has been notified that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19.The AST employee has not been present on any of our campuses since March 23rd.
    We have identified personnel that may have been in contact with this individual.AST Health System has screened these individuals and explained the protocols for self-monitoring and home quarantine, per the Center for Disease Control and the Oklahoma State Department of Health guidelines.
    The Tribe is taking additional precautionary measures and closing the Shawnee campus to all employees through Friday, April 3rd. During this time, shared spaces and facilities will be cleaned and sanitized.
    Additional points of interest are:
    • The AST Office of Emergency Management began receiving and inventorying personal protective equipment (PPE) today. We anticipate future shipments to arrive soon. Please remember, if you have new equipment you would like to donate for our frontline workers, we are accepting donations at the Emergency Operation Center in Norman (you can find a list of needed supplies below).
    • We are continuing to work with FEMA on the reimbursement process and received our FEMA Public Assistance Letter of Approval yesterday. We have applied for additional COVID Response grant dollars through Indian Health Service and other federal agencies. To date, we have been awarded more than $630,000.
    • The current confirmed positives for our area are:
      • Oklahoma County – 155
      • Cleveland County – 66
      • Pottawatomie County - 5
    • Oklahoma has not reached a peak in the virus yet and based on data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health, it will not occur until mid to late April – possibly around the 18th. Please keep in mind, however, even when the peak occurs it does NOT mean restrictions will be lifted.
    • Please continue to follow current CDC guidelines and the shelter-in-place orders. If you believe you may have been exposed or are exhibiting symptoms of the virus, please contact your primary care provider and the AST Coronavirus 24/7 Information Line at 405.695.1787.
  • March 28-29, 2020 - The AST continues to hold daily briefings on COVID-19. Our Office of Emergency Management and the AST Health System stay in close contact with state and federal agencies essential in fighting this public health crisis. Over the weekend, our internal teams met and discussed ways in which we can continue to mitigate exposure to our members and our staff.

    The Title VI meal disbursements are an extremely important service we are offering to our eligible members and our Elders. I would like to let our membership know the staff preparing and distributing these food items has had infections control training. We want to do everything possible to stop the spread of this virus – particularly to our most vulnerable populations. In order to minimize exposure to our members and our staff, we are implementing a new schedule. It is as follows:

    • Homebound Elders:
      • Monday – AST will deliver 1 hot meal and 4 additional meals consisting of non-perishable food items.
      • Thermometers for temperature monitoring will also be distributed during this delivery. You will find instructions and cleaning directions with the equipment. If you find that you are running a temperature, please call the ASTHS 24 hour Coronavirus information number.
    • Shawnee Elder Pick-up (Little Axe Title VI will be closed)
      • Monday – 10am-2pm – 5 days of non-perishable food items will be distributed (milk/juice)
      • For the safety of our members and our staff, individuals arriving for pick-up will be stopped for a temperature check.
    • For any questions regarding this service, feel free to contact Tribal Health at 405.701.7621.

      Our Health System has also received questions on manpower allocation during the COVID response. Please be assured we are taking all precautions necessary to keep continuity in care in place for our members. We are creating two teams of healthcare providers that will work in shifts. This model will help protect our frontline workers and our members from exposure.

      The Tribe is also working with the City of Shawnee Emergency Management on an alternate care site/hospital in Shawnee. This site may be used for less critical patients. We will keep you informed as this project evolves.

      You have likely heard on the news just how important personal protective equipment is right now - particularly for our healthcare and frontline workers. There is a need due to demand. The AST Office of Emergency Management will be opening a donation site for PPE at the Emergency Operations Center located at 15702 State Highway 9, Norman, OK 73026. We will be accepting the following items below:
      • - N95 Masks
      • - KN95 Masks
      • - Industrial N95 Masks
      • - Homemade Face Masks
      • - Disinfectant Wipes and/or Spray
      • - Hand Sanitizer (60% Alcohol or Greater)
      • - Face Shields
      • - Nitrile Gloves
    If anyone has items not listed above that they would like to donate please contact the AST Office of Emergency Management 405.740.1562) prior to delivering the items.
    Lastly, please continue to do your part to Flatten the Curve! Wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, and physically distance yourself from others.
  • March 26, 2020 - In order to keep our citizens and our employees informed, the AST is considering implementing a mass notification system. A mass notification system isn't just useful in times such as these; it can come in handy for non-emergency communication across multiple campuses and locations. The information we may disseminate could be anything from a weather related event to a Tribe-wide event. Once we have the finalized details, we will provide our members with additional information and how they may sign up for the notifications.
    Again, we are urging everyone to stay home if they can; however, if you must come on campus, the AST Police Department will be at the main entrance of the complex screening visitors/employees and checking temperatures. If a visitor or employee is running a fever, the individual will be given a card with their temperature and guidance on next steps. Thank you to the AST Health System for providing the screening cards.
    The current numbers within our jurisdiction are:
    • Oklahoma County - 73 confirmed
    • Cleveland County - 39 confirmed
    • Pottawatomie County - 2 Confirmed
    • Oklahoma Total - 248; 33 counties
    From a National standpoint, Congress is finalizing a $2 trillion economic rescue plan that will offer assistance to American households affected by COVID-19. This stimulus package will include payments to qualifying individuals, expanded unemployment coverage, student loan changes, different retirement account rules and much more. We will try our best to provide our members with details as they become more available.
    In the meantime, please stay in, stay well and check on your family!
  • March 25, 2020 - The Absentee Shawnee Tribe continues to monitor the ongoing public health crisis. The AST Office of Emergency Management has begun the reimbursement process through the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). This will allow our Tribe to recover monies spent on certain eligible emergency protective measures taken in response to COVID-19.

    The AST Public Safety Department continues to work with the Norman Police Department on clarifying the shelter-in-place order. At this time, we do not believe it will impact travel for any of our essential staff. However, our Legal Department has drafted an "Essential Staff" document for distribution to our employees. Should travel restrictions be put into place, this document states the employee in possession of the letter is vitally important to our operations - particularly within our Health System - and should be allowed to travel to and from their worksite.

    Currently, confirmed COVID cases within the AST jurisdiction are:

    Cleveland - 27 confirmed / 1 death

    Oklahoma - 55 confirmed / 2 deaths

    Pottawatomie - 1 confirmed

    With regard to our casino operations, the decision has been made to extend the temporary closure at both Thunderbird Casino Norman and Shawnee. Our hope is to reopen on Tuesday, April 14th. Management will continue to monitor the situation. Thunderbird Entertainment will continue to pay team members through the April 14th re-open date.

    Lastly, I would like to share some positive news. Although these are trying times, our members and our staff are pulling together to take care of our Tribe and our Elders. We have packed and delivered over 700 meals to numerous eligible individuals. I am so very proud of our Tribe and our employees. Please continue to take care of yourselves - follow CDC guidelines and remain at home if you can.

  • March 24, 2020 – The City of Norman issued a shelter-in-place order that will go into effect on Wednesday, March 25th, by 11:59 P.M. The AST Public Safety Department is working with the City of Norman Police Department to determine the directives they will enforce during this time. Additionally, Oklahoma Governor, Kevin Stitt, has issued an order that counties with confirmed cases of COVID-19 must close non-essential businesses for 21 days on Wednesday, March 25th, by 11:59 P.M. Guidance on exempt "essential businesses" can be found here: Restaurants may remain open for takeout and delivery orders.
    The current confirmed cases within the AST jurisdictional boundaries are as follows:
    • Cleveland County – 22 confirmed cases
    • Pottawatomie County – 1 confirmed case
    • Oklahoma County – 44 confirmed cases
    The AST Health System will temporarily implement new hours beginning March, 25th.
    • Little Axe Health Center: 8am-5pm (M-F)
    • Little Axe Pharmacy: 8am-7pm (M-F); 9am-5pm (Sat)
    • PlusCare: 11am-7pm (M-F); 9am-5pm (Sat. and Sun.)
    • Optometry (located inside PlusCare): 8am-5pm (M-F)
    • Shawnee Clinic: CLOSED until further notice
    • Shawnee Pharmacy: 11am-7pm (M-F); 9am-1pm (Sat); CLOSED Sunday
  • March 23, 2020 - The AST Health System will continue to provide vital services and support to the Tribe - sustaining patient care on an acute basis. At this time, those services include primary care, PlusCare, dental, behavioral health and drive-through pharmacies; physical therapy and optometry will be on an as-needed basis for post-surgical patients and emergencies. However, all high-risk AST Health System employees will be scheduled to work per CDC COVID-19 guidelines. This may cause changes to hours of operation beginning on Monday, March 23rd. Please look for notices on Facebook, email or the AST website.
    • AST Health Services has also coordinated the donation of items to create care packages for AST Elders. The packages are distributed based on poverty guidelines, medical needs, fixed income, and transportation status of the Elders.
  • March 20, 2020 – The Absentee Shawnee Tribe determined the AST Campus will remain closed to visitors through April 3, 2020. On April 3rd, we will reevaluate the situation. Departments can be reached via email, and a list of addresses is available on the website.
  • March 18, 2020– AST declared a State of Emergency. This declaration will allow us to make recommendations or institute measures quickly in order to protect our members and employees. A declaration allows us to use all levels of our tribal government to act against this emerging threat. Furthermore, the declaration may provide our Tribe with access to additional federal support and reimbursements for emergency protective measures we have initiated.
  • March 17, 2020 – Under my direction, we have developed a weekly system to check on our Elders. Based on contact information provided by our Elders Council, hundreds of Elders have received calls from our Elder Call Center. This population is a priority and we will continue to check on the health and well-being of this group. If you are aware of an Elder that needs a well-being call, please let leadership know.
  • March 14, 2020 – Under the direction of the Governor’s Office, AST instituted daily meetings with the AST Emergency Management Response Team, including the AST Health System and AST Public Safety.
  • March 13, 2020 – AST Health System initiated a 24/7 staffed COVID Information Line 405.695.1787).
  • March 12, 2020 - Based on public health recommendations, we made the decision to temporarily close the AST campus on March 13th.
  • March 10, 2020 – The AST Health System stood up a Crisis Action Team (CAT) with the AST Emergency Manager and AST Public Safety Office. This team began assessing logistical planning needs for the Tribe, including the completion of an Oklahoma State Department of Health grant application for COVID response funding.
  • March 9, 2020 – AST instituted travel restrictions for our employees in order to decrease exposure to COVID-19.
Office of the Governor

Building 2
2025 S Gordon Cooper Drive
Shawnee, OK 74801

John Raymond Johnson
Tribal Governor
P: 405.275.4030 x 3500

Alvina Barnes
Executive Assistant
P: 405.275.4030 x 3501