KWSO News for 4/28/20

As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues its stranglehold on the world, stay at home orders and social distancing continue. As of 8am yesterday morning there have been more than 51 thousand COVID-19 tests given in Oregon with 2,354 returning positive and 92 deaths. In Warm Springs, there have been 73 tests given with 69 returning negative and 4 positive tests. The seriousness of COVID-19 threat to our ways of life was brought to reality in the death of life-long resident of Celilo Village, Bobbie Begay. A Yakama tribal member that honored his tribal way of life in a place resided on by his people since the beginning of time. The Warm Springs COVID-19 Health team works with neighboring health agencies, counties and communities to protect our health from this dreaded disease.

A News release from Joe Sluka, President and CEO of St. Charles, stated that St. Charles has had some positive tests this past week but the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients remains low. He applauds the community efforts on social distancing and sacrifices that make all the difference. The St. Charles team has been working on a plan for several weeks to ensure they are ready to start providing expanded health services in a safe way when the time is right. Last Thursday, Governor Kate Brown announced that she is relaxing her executive order and will allow hospitals to provide some expanded non-urgent health services starting on May 1st. He also stated that it’s critical to note that if there’s an uptick in COVID-19 cases or they start running low on supplies they will take a step back. They are continuing to expand their COVID-19 testing criteria to include more people.

Today marks the final day to register to vote in Oregon’s May 19 primary election or to change party affiliation. Oregonians who are at least 16 years old, are U.S. citizens and are Oregon residents can register. Residents younger than 18 will not receive a ballot until an election occurs on or after their 18th birthday. The first ballots will start to be mailed to Oregon voters starting tomorrow. Registration cards must be postmarked by today, voters can also register over the internet no later than 11:59pm tonight online at This website can also be used to update an address, change a name or change a party affiliation.

Non-flushable items are clogging up pipes in one of Oregon’s most populous counties. Officials say it’s a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Monica Samayoa Reports. “Since March 17th, crews in Washington County have been clearing out pump station sewer lines after they’ve been clogged with cleaning wipes, facial tissues, rags, and feminine hygiene products. What used to be a once-a-year cleanup is now happening on a weekly basis. Clean Water Services’ Karen DeBaker thinks one of the issues might be the shortage of toilet paper, as panic buying during the pandemic has left many using alternatives. We’re seeing the decrease in availability of toilet paper and people are saying ‘I can just look and pull this other thing that’s quote on quote paper and I’ll use that instead’ and what happens is again, they’re not made to be flushed. Clean Water Services said its water professionals are working around the clock to keep the water flowing to homes and hospitals during the pandemic. Monica Samayoa OPB”

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