KWSO News for Fri., May 8, 2020

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday outlined a detailed plan for beginning to reopen the state in the coming weeks while stressing that reduced restrictions on businesses and residents could be rolled back if the virus resurges. Counties that have had few cases of the coronavirus and that can meet strict guidelines may be able to reopen certain businesses as early as May 15, including salons, gyms and limited sit-down restaurant service, under the first part of the plan. Additionally, the state will loosen restrictions on day cares and retail shops statewide on May 15 while monitoring how infection levels respond.

COVID-19 claimed six more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 121, as of yesterday morning.  The Oregon Health Authority reported 70 new confirmed cases and three new presumptive cases bringing the state total to 2,989.

The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reported yesterday afternoon that there are 15 positive cases of COVID-19 on the Reservation.  That is the same number as the day before.  224 tests samples have been taken at the Health & Wellness Center with 201 having negative results & 8 tests pending Results.

Fire officials are keeping an eye on the weather and unusually dry conditions plaguing the region as they are witnessing early July-like conditions that bring with it the threat of wildfires. The already dry conditions due to well-below precipitation levels in April, combined with forecasted warm temperatures plus dry, east winds will elevate fire risk across much of Oregon through Mother’s Day.  Fields says that the number of fires to date this year,  on ODF protected lands are twice the average for this time of year. More than half of this year’s fires  have resulted from escaped backyard debris burns.   Oregonians are urged to use caution with any fire-related activities.

Nearly $16 million in assistance will go to Oregon fisheries, fishing businesses, fish processors, and more that have been impacted by coronavirus as part of Oregon’s portion of the $300 million in fisheries assistance included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.    Fishery participants eligible for funding include tribal nations, commercial fishing businesses, charter and for-hire fishing businesses, qualified aquaculture operations, processors, and other fishery-related businesses.

Since late March, Central Oregon Community College has been operating nearly exclusively in a remote environment, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, some college employees are not able to work the number of hours for which they are contracted. This week, the college announced that 38 non faculty employees will be placed on partial or full furloughs, effective May 26 and running through Sept. 30.

Today at noon on KWSO – it’s our “Community Talk” show live discussion about making it through this COVID-19 pandemic.  We will check in with folks from St Charles Health Care, Warm Springs I.H.S., Best Care Treatment Services & a Tribal rep on the Warm Springs COVID-19 Response Team.   How are things going for people?  Join us for the discussion – let us know if you have questions.  We will have songs to ease your anxiety and tips for managing stress.  Community Talk today at noon here on KWSO.