KWSO News for Fri., Apr. 3, 2020

Warm Springs Tribal Offices are closed to the public at least thru April 10th due to COVID-19 recommendations for social distancing, however there are key staff working.   There is a list of contact names and numbers posted on the tribal website if you need assistance.

For any Tribal Members who recently got their minors trust letter – please remember to get your letter notarized before turning it in to Vital Stats.  They are able to set up appointments to do the notarizing.  You can call 541-553-3232 from 8am – 4pm Monday thru Friday or else email to schedule an appointment.

Currently there are not any cases of Corona Virus in Warm Springs or Jefferson County.  11 individuals have been tested in Warm Springs with 8 of those tests returning as negative and 3 tests pending results.

The Oregon Health Authority yesterday with a total of 826 known cases in Oregon with 21 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

U.S. Senators for Oregon Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today pressed federal agencies to implement the tribal provisions of the CARES Act swiftly and in a manner that upholds the federal trust and treaty responsibilities to tribes, respects tribal sovereignty and provides for meaningful government-to-government consultation in Oregon and nationwide.

The senators, along with colleagues in the Senate and House, sent a letter to Donald Trump following the enactment of the CARES Act, the third emergency COVID-19 legislative package, which includes over $10 billion in resources for native communities’ COVID-19 response.   The Indian Health Service is aware of nearly 200 cases of COVID-19 in Indian Country. Additionally, tribes are reporting severe coronavirus-related economic impacts on their tribally-owned businesses and assets, which provide their sole source of government revenue. Given these developments and past issues accessing federal resources for the Zika, Ebola, H1N1, and SARS outbreaks, tribes and urban Indian health organizations are concerned that federal COVID-19 response efforts and resources will not reach them.

In addition to Wyden and Merkley, the letter is signed by U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Steven Daines (R-Mont.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). The letter is also signed by U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), Tom Cole (R-Okla.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Ruben Gallego (D- Ariz.), Paul Cook

Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer shared an update with constituents yesterday (4/2/20) about what he understands about the direct payment of $1,200 from the COVID-19 relief package.

The IRS will make payments to people through direct deposit in mid-April (likely, the week of April 13th). In order to be in the first round the IRS has to have direct deposit information from either your 2019 or 2018 tax filing.  About 3 weeks after those deposits are made (the week of May 4th), the IRS will begin issuing paper checks to individuals.  The paper checks will be issued at a rate of about 5 million per week, which could take up to 20 weeks to get all the checks out.

The checks will be issued in reverse “adjusted gross income” order—starting with people with the lowest income first.  The IRS is encouraging taxpayers to file their 2019 returns to the maximum extent possible. As taxpayers file their 2019 returns electronically, the IRS will post updated tax information weekly to its files and then send this information to another agency that will issue weekly payments.  For other taxpayers who do not file returns, the IRS expects to release the “simple tax return” soon. The IRS expects it will contain only a few questions, including name, Social Security Numbers, dependents, and deposit information. There also will be other IRS guidance accompanying this simple tax return.

Families are a child’s first and best teacher but most of us are unprepared to take on home school which is what is needed with kids out of school due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  With schools closed, recess and gym classes are also not in session. The Oregon Health Authority has shared some suggestions from the American Heart Association for keeping active at home.   Practice math problems and do a jumping jack every time the answer is an even number.  Ball-toss spelling practice: Toss the ball and say a letter then toss the ball to someone else to say the next letter.  Have a dance party for one minute.  Practice spelling and do a squat for every vowel.  There is a printable poster available with more than 20 suggestions.

In a recent air quality report from the Warm Springs Branch of Natural Resources there was a share of some advice about minimizing air pollution inside our homes as much as we can.  In response to the rapid spread of Covid-19 and stay at home orders remember to optimize the quality of the air in your home.  Make sure you air your home several times a day.  In the morning, after cooking or cleaning, and in the evening before going to bed… It is essential to change the air in your home several times a day. Leave windows open for several minutes at a time to ensure effective ventilation.  Other Advice is to NOT SMOKE AND don’t overuse industrial cleaning products and consider natural alternatives.


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