KWSO News for Fri., May 22, 2020

On the Warm Springs Reservation the Schoolie water system has had a Boil Water notice in place since May 4th due to loss of pressure.  Since then the pumps at the booster station have failed to fill the system reservoir.  An assessment of why the system is failing and what needs to be done to bring it back on line is being done by the Water & Wastewater department today.    Until repairs are made the Schoolie system will not have water.   Warm Springs Emergency Management has placed 2 blue containers with a total of 400 gallons of water at the S-300 road and Highway 3.  There is a pump on the containers and residents will need to bring their own containers.  Schoolie residences that are affected are from the Simnasho cemetery to the top of the grade above the fish hatchery.

The Oregon Health Authority yesterday reported the state’s total number of positive and presumptive coronavirus cases as 38-hundred and 17.   Presumptive cases are people who have not tested positive but have coronavirus symptoms and have come into close contact with a confirmed case.   O-H-A also reported 1 new death. 145 people are known to have died from COVID-19 in Oregon.

As of 4:30 yesterday afternoon all 17 cases of COIVD-19 on the reservation are individuals who have recovered.  Testing capacity is good with 548 test kits available and tests continue to be done as needed along with random surveillance testing of high-risk community members.

The Memorial weekend is starting with an Oregon Air National Guard flyover of the Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center at 10:07 this morning. The flyovers are a joint effort between Oregon’s 173rd Fighter Wing, based in Klamath Falls, and the 142nd Wing, based in Portland, aimed at supporting and thanking healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential workers who are working to keep Oregonians safe and healthy each day.

With the 3 day memorial weekend here there will be increased traffic on Highway 26.  The warmer weather and phase 1 re-openings are likely to bring many visitors to central Oregon and for Central Oregonians to venture out farther than they have been due to COVID-19 precautions.  The Warm Springs COVID-19 response team advices everyone to continue to be cautious as corona virus is still active.  To be safe, stay close to home, mask-up, and continue to do social-distancing. Keep on protecting yourself, your families and our community.

Just in time for the Memorial Day weekend, more outdoor recreation sites are re-opening in Oregon. Most developed state and federal recreation sites in Oregon closed earlier this spring in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Some day-use sites and boat ramps re-opened a few weeks ago. Now, the Forest Service is opening a slew of sites, including some campgrounds. Visitors are warned that not all services will be available.  The state of Oregon announced camping at state parks will resume, but not until June 9. All of the agencies advise visitors to check in advance to ensure their destination of choice is open. Some popular sites such as Terwilliger Hot Springs will remain closed for the time being.

The number of new jobless claims in Oregon climbed last week for the first time since March as more people filed for benefits during the coronavirus outbreak. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the state received nearly 16,000 new jobless claims. That brings the total number of benefits applications during the coronavirus outbreak to nearly 412,000 – more than 20% of Oregon workers.