KWSO News for 3/23/20

The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs is planning additional measures to ensure the health and safety of everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Effective today employees with underlying medical conditions and over 60 years of age are being encouraged to stay home and Telework.  Flexible work schedules are also being encouraged, where possible, to help with social distancing measures.  This week the focus will be on closing down Tribal Offices March 30th thru April 10th.  All offices will be closed except for essential services.  All tribal employees qualify for full pay for those two weeks.  Many programs have already closed or are limiting public access.  Everyone in Warm Springs is encouraged to just stay home to help keep the COVID-19 virus from spreading.

COVID-19 has claimed another life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll from four to five. The Oregon Health Authority also reported 24 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 161, as of 8:00 a.m. today. The COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (2), Clackamas (1), Deschutes (1), Lane (1), Marion (3), Multnomah (1), Washington (13) and Yamhill (2). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website:  Oregon’s one COVID-19 death in Linn County is a veteran in his 90’s, who tested positive on March 11, and died this morning at the Oregon Veterans Home. He had underlying medical conditions.

The coronavirus outbreak has thrust parents everywhere into the role of their children’s primary educators. They’ve been left scrambling to sift through educational resources and juggle lesson plans with jobs and other responsibilities. Across the United States, more than 118,000 public and private schools in 45 states have closed, affecting 53 million students, according to a tally kept by Education Week. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has urged the state’s more than 6 million schoolchildren and their families to make long-term plans, telling them few, if any, schools would reopen before the summer break.

While many local shops are scaling down operations during the coronavirus pandemic, one says business is doing pretty well. Andrew Agerter [AG-at-uhr] is manager of Eugene Toy and Hobby. He says with many people spending more time at home now, there’s a need for hobbies to distract from the headlines, or boredom. “We’ve got a lot of puzzles, a lot of board games, a lot of modeling supplies, model railroading. We’re selling anywhere from 20 to 30 or 40 puzzles a day right now. And so it’s been really nice to see people willing to stock up and support local too, I think that’s a big thing with people right now.” Agerter [AG-at-uhr] adds at many Eugene businesses including his, there’s temporary parking for customers wanting to do a quick pick-up outside. In-store customers are offered latex gloves or hand sanitizer while perusing the shelves.

Oregon’s governor has objected to a U.S. regulatory agency’s approval of a natural gas pipeline and marine export terminal project in the state. Gov. Kate Brown said she has asked the state’s lawyers to consider all appropriate legal action to assure that Oregon permitting processes will be followed. The Jordan Cove project has already been denied one state permit. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington voted 2-1 in favor of the project. It would be the first LNG export terminal on the West Coast. A group of three Native American tribes said the project would harm vital cultural and natural resources.

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