KWSO News for 4/10/20

The Jefferson County Public Health Department released information yesterday about the first positive COVID-19 Confirmed Case for a Jefferson County Resident.  The resident is currently living out of the state and receiving care through their out-of-state provider. This case highlights the way our public health system works. Regardless of where a test is conducted, the county of residence remains the primary reporting classification. The resident has not been in Central Oregon during their infectious period.  There has been no hospitalization.

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Health Programs issued a statement regarding confidentiality when it comes to medical information.  There is no personal information released should there be a positive COVID-19 test for Warm Springs. At the Warm Springs Health & Wellness Center they have performed 16 tests with 15 returning negative results, and 1 test result still pending.  Warm Springs is working together with the Jefferson County Health Department during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect communities and ensure mutual patients are cared for as needed.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, State parks and many federal trailheads and all private and public recreational campgrounds are closed to prevent people from congregating and to protect the staff that maintain these areas. But sunny, warm weather typically sends Oregonians out in droves to their favorite outdoor recreational destinations. State leaders, health care workers and those on the front lines responding to the COVID-19 outbreak are urging people to continue to stay home to save lives…even when it’s sunny. For now, the best way to get outside while keeping yourself and others safe is to stick close to home. Have a backyard picnic on the lawn or patio with those in your immediate household, walk or jog in your neighborhood while maintaining social distancing guidelines or even washing your car or soaking up the sunshine in your yard. It is crucial for the health and safety of Oregonians to follow Governor Brown’s directive to stay home in order to save lives.

The 509-J school district is definitely doing their part during this COVID-19 pandemic as they, along with other school districts in Oregon are helping feed children in their communities. Just a couple of days ago, the Warm Springs K-8 had given out almost one thousand meals, while Metolius gave out 240 meals and in Madras they got close to 600 meals. They are encouraging parents to take advantage of the meal program during this difficult time and the stress it can put on a household trying to feed a family when there is no school.

On March 25th the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs took action to close fishing permit sales both online at the tribal website and in-person and at vendors due to concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  At that time the Tribes also closed access to waters within and bordering the Reservation to all non-Tribal Members. Additionally, reservation roads are closed to all but local traffic.

The Oregon Employment Department today/THURS says more than 100-thousand people filed claims last week. OPB’s Meerah Powell reports. “The department reports 100-thousand 7-hundred people filed initial unemployment claims last week. In total, the department has received nearly 270-thousand initial unemployment claims in three weeks. Tim Duy is a professor of practice in the department of economics at the University of Oregon. He says the state’s employment department initially struggled to process the record-setting amount of claims, but it’s improving. [7 secs] “They’re getting better at processing the claims and that’s great. It’s great because it means we’re moving money back into the economy more quickly.” The department says it has processed nearly 55-thousand of the initial claims filed last week.  It also says the federal CARES Act weekly payments of $600 dollars will start processing this week. The department says it’s receiving guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor to provide unemployment benefits to self-employed, contract and gig workers. Meerah Powell, OPB.”

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