KWSO News for 3/16/20

On Friday, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Tribal Council declared a “State of Emergency” as a proactive measure to ensure access to resources in addressing COVID-19 Coronavirus. With the Concerns of the Coronavirus increasing in our community as well as across the nation, the Tribal Government is working closely with the Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center to evaluate and ensure the health and safety of our community. There are NOT any confirmed or presumptive cases of COVID-19 on the reservation as of today. Tribal Council asks that you utilize the Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center call in number at 541-553-5512 available Monday thru Friday 8am-5pm . Keep in mind the best way to protect yourself from the COVID-19 is to prevent the spread by frequent and thorough hand washing, avoiding contact with your face, eyes, nose or mouth, cover your cough or sneeze with tissue then dispose of the tissue. Please clean and disinfect surfaces of your home and the points of entry to your home and vehicles. We will continue to assess our community and keep you informed of any changes that are recommended and how we will operate as the situation progresses.

Millions of students across the U.S. may go without free lunches and breakfasts they receive at schools, as more districts decide to close due to the Coronavirus. Many schools are rushing to arrange grab-and-go lunch bags or set up delivery routes so America’s poorest children don’t go hungry while classes are out of session. The outbreak has already temporarily closed schools in a growing list of states, including Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, Illinois, Virginia, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico and South Dakota. Cities from Los Angeles to Seattle to Washington, D.C., also announced public schools would shut down. Meanwhile, Congress may take action to waive regulations nationwide to make it easier for school meals to be distributed at more sites. At the Warm Springs K-8 Academy, they will serve breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.  The meals will be served at the curb next to the bus drop off and will be served as a grab and go or as a drive through.

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, Oregon law has authorized district attorneys to take action to restrain a person from engaging in the unlawful trade practice of price gouging consumer goods essential to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Governor has encouraged all consumers who believe they have experienced excessive pricing to call the Dept of Justices Consumer protection hotline at 877-877-9392

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced eight new agreements with parties responsible for cleaning up the Portland Harbor Superfund Site on the Willamette River. The agency says it now has signed cleanup agreements covering more than half of the Superfund site area. Under the EPA’s cleanup plan, much of the Superfund site will be allowed to recover naturally over time without any active cleanup work. The agency is now negotiating with individual parties that are responsible for the pollution under a $1 billion plan. The site that runs from downtown Portland north to the Columbia Slough is highly contaminated from more than 100 years of industrial use.

In an end run around Republican legislators, Oregon’s Democratic governor has ordered the state to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Gov. Kate Brown issued an executive order directing a state agency to set and enforce caps on pollution from industry and transportation fuels. Brown’s sweeping order aims to reduce carbon emissions to at least 45% below 1990 levels by 2035 and by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. Republican lawmakers, a minority in the Legislature, staged a walkout during this year’s short session to sabotage a bill that aimed for many of the same climate goals.

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