KWSO News for Wed., May 27, 2020

Yesterday’s COVID-19 update from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs reported that there is a new positive case of COVID-19 on the Reservation.   One individual tested positive and will be quarantined for 14 days.  Contact Tracing has begun to identify everyone the individual has come in contact with.  Previously 17 people who tested positive had recovered.    The Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center has sent in or tested: 355 samples with 333 results returned negative and 1 test result pending.  3 invalid tests were redone.

Yesterday’s COVID-19 update from the Oregon Health Authority reported the state’s death toll at 148.  They reported 18 new confirmed cases and 1 new presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 8 a.m. yesterday, bringing the state total to 3,967.

Warm Springs Tribal Council was in session yesterday.  They voted to postpone the phased re-opening of Tribal Government Offices until Monday June 8th – pushing back the previous date by a week.  The COVID-19 Response Team agreed with the decision to allow more time before re-opening.

In another council action – the Warm Springs 4th of July Parade, Community BBQ and Family Games are all cancelled.  The big community fireworks show will take place however families and individuals are encouraged to do social distancing to watch the display.  Anyone planning on setting off personal fireworks are also reminded to maintain social distancing and only set off fireworks at the usual approved community areas like the Community Center Parking Lot.

Also yesterday it was decided that Indian Head Casino would re-open, with restrictions in place, on Thursday June 11th.  The facility will limit occupancy to 250 people.  At the Plateau Travel Plaza, a sister company of Indian Head Casino, the game room and 3 Teepees Café will re-opening with restrictions in place on Monday June 1st.  Fuel and store operations have and will continue 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Tribal Council also approved a recommendation from the fish and wildlife committee to reopen fishing by permit for non-Tribal Members at Lake Simtustus, the Metolious arm of Lake Billy Chinook, The Deschutes River at the Dry Creek Campground and the High Lakes.  Fishing license vendors have been notified and online sales of permits will be available again once the website is updated.

COVID-19 is still active across the world, and will be for months to come.  As governments and businesses ease back into some kind of normal operations, Warm Springs Tribal Council reminds people to remain vigilant in staying at home as much as possible, wearing face coverings in public, frequently washing hands and sanitizing hard surfaces,  By taking these steps, you protect yourself but also you protect everyone around you.

Schoolie Flat Residents continue to be without running water as repairs continue to be made to pumps for the reservoir.   Portable Toilets are in place and drinking water is available at the S-300 road.    Warm Springs Emergency Management is working to get portable showers on site.   The Branch of Public Utilities Water and Wastewater department is pulling out the failed pump motor to take it for repairs as a temporary solution.  If all goes well they hope to have water running again early next week.  The long term solution is to install two new pumps with new motors and upgrade the electrical system.

Public Utilities also reports issues with the agency wastewater system due to very low flows.  With the closure of the Warm Springs K though 8 Academy and most Tribal Offices – low flows have caused the system to not function properly.  Biological supplements are being obtained to make up for the issues that have arisen from low flows.