KWSO News for 4/7/20

Warm Springs Community Health and Emergency Management are encouraging people to wear a mask when you go out in public, to the store, the post office, or the clinic, whether you are sick or not.  Keeping your nose and mouth covered can help prevent the spread of Covid-19 to you or to your family.  Using your own mask helps the clinic preserve as many masks as possible for providers and others who need one. Remember to avoid touching your face or the mask while you are wearing it. And you should still stay 6 feet away from people even when wearing a mask.  A mask does not substitute for social distancing. If you don’t have a face mask – you can make one out of cloth using one of many patterns currently available online   If you do make your own face mask – consider making extras for your family, friends and others. Donations of cloth facemasks are being taken to distribute to community members.  There is a donation bin at the entrance of the clinic. You may drop off donated masks between 8am and 5pm. Donated facemasks are requested to be washed, dried, and placed in a sealed bag such as a Ziploc.

The federal COVID-19 stimulus payments arriving later this month will not affect eligibility for social safety net programs like Medicaid or food stamps. KLCC’s Chris Lehman reports. ”To qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly called “food stamps,” your gross monthly income has to be below a certain level, depending on the size of your household. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the cut-off line for a family of four is about 28-hundred dollars. But that same household is in line to receive a 34-hundred dollar stimulus payment. Normally, that income would disqualify that family for food stamps, at least temporarily. The Oregon Department of Human Services says it’s waiting for guidance from the federal government as to whether stimulus payments will affect food stamp eligibility. But a spokesperson for US Senator Ron Wyden said in an email that the payments would not be considered income for the purpose of determining eligibility. Separately, the Oregon Health Authority says the coronavirus stimulus will not impact eligibility for the Oregon Health Plan. I’m Chris Lehman reporting.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced that Oregon will receive federal help for flooding and storms in the northeastern section of the state. FEMA announced Saturday that federal disaster assistance is available to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by early February severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding. The President’s action approving a flood disaster declaration makes the federal funding in the amount of $7.5 Million available to affected people in Umatilla County and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Approximately $4 million of that is for the purchase of manufactured homes. Mayor John Turner says the city is considering placing those homes in the Riverside area.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.    One of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.

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