KWSO News for Fri., May 1, 2020

As of yesterday afternoon (4/30/20) there were 10 positive cases of COVID-19 for the Warm Springs Reservation.  The Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center had done 182 tests with 131 returning negative results and 41 pending results.

In an effort to increase understanding of why some underlying health conditions lead to COVID-19 complications, the Oregon Health Authority continues to release DATA about risk factors.  Heart conditions can put people at a greater risk for severe illness from COVID-19.  COVID-19, like other viral illnesses such as the flu, can damage the respiratory system and make it harder for your heart to work.  For people with heart failure and other serious heart conditions this can lead to a worsening of COVID-19 symptoms.  Steps you can take to protect your health: Take your medication exactly as prescribed – Make sure that you have at least a two-week supply of your medicine – People with hypertension should continue to manage and control their blood pressure

Anyone working with a Native-owned small businesses of 5 employees or fewer, operating in the State of Oregon can apply for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Economic Development Center (ATNI EDC) forgivable loans. They have funding available and encourage Native owned small businesses to apply.  You can find the link to learn more on our website in today’s morning news post.

In a joint PRESS RELEASE this week the Madras City Council and the Madras Redevelopment Commission have created an Economic Assistance Grant Program to help Madras Businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Jefferson County and the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council have approved funds for business outside of Madras but within Jefferson County, which includes a portion of the Warm Springs Reservation.  The first round of applications are being accepted now through May 8th.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) issued information yesterday saying there is no evidence that human or animal food—or food packaging is associated with the transmission of COVID-19. Food products do not need to be withdrawn or recalled from the market if someone on the farm or in the processing plant tests positive.  The statement went on to say “The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person, such as between people who are in close contact with one another, or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes,” according to Dr. Paul Cieslak, senior health adviser for OHA’s COVID-19 response.  He says “A person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface that an infected person has touched, which is why it is so important to get in the habit of washing your hands often including before and after preparing meals, before eating and after you come home if you’ve been out.”

The Oregon Department of Revenue is alerting taxpayers that while most eligible taxpayers don’t need to take any action to receive an Economic Impact Payment, some people will. This includes those who are required to file and haven’t filed a tax return for either 2018 or 2019.  The IRS urges eligible taxpayers with a filing requirement who haven’t yet filed a tax return for tax years 2018 or 2019 to file their 2019 return to get an Economic Impact Payment. Taxpayers should file electronically and include direct deposit banking information on the return to get their Economic Impact Payments faster.  Others who don’t normally file—including those with low income or no income—should use the IRS’s Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool to give the IRS basic information so they can get their payment as soon as possible.

The Library of Congress announced yesterday (4/30/20) that Muscogee Creek Joy Harjo has been selected as the United States poet laureate for a second consecutive year.  Harjo is the first Native American Poet Laureate.  The New York Times reports that her second term starts September 1st and that she plans on focusing on a “digital interactive map featuring contemporary Native Poets.”  Harjo is the 23rd poet to hold the post of US Poet Laureate.

Madras High School shared that in lieu of the cancellation of graduation for senior students, personalized banners will be hanging from Madras street light poles beginning May 25th.  The effort to recognize the accomplishment of students is a collaboration between Madras High School, the 509-J school district, Bridges High School, Rip Q signs and graphics and the City of Madras.