KWSO News for Mon., May 18, 2020

Friday (5/15/20) the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs reported 17 positive cases of COVID-19 on the Reservation, with 8 of those people having recovered.  The Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center has sent in or tested:  285 samples with 264 returning negative.  1 test result was pending and 3 tests were invalid and redone.

The state’s death toll from COVID-19 is 137, the Oregon Health Authority reported there were 9 new confirmed cases and three new presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 8 a.m. yesterday (5/17/20) bringing the state total to 3,623.

Warm Springs Tribal Council is in session today.  The local COVID-19 response team will be sharing an update.

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, The Museum at Warm Springs has been closed to the public since March 18. The Museum’s staff is on administrative leave through May 29.  A partial re-opening of the Museum is yet to be determined. An update will be posted in June.  During the public closure, the entire building has continued to be kept cleaned and sanitized.  The Museum is following guidelines from the American Alliance of Museums and the CDC.

2020 Crooked River Roundup Horse Races, scheduled for July 15th thru the 18th, are cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The annual pari-mutuel horse races at the Crook County Fairgrounds in Prineville attract the largest daily handle of any racetrack in Oregon and the largest average daily attendance of any track in the state.   Earlier this month, the Roundup Association announced the cancellation of the 75th Annual Crooked River Roundup in June.

The Jefferson County Health Department reminds everyone that COVID-19 will be here until there is immunity and an effective a vaccine.  The primary tools to keep COVID-19 from spreading are physical distancing and hygiene. Every restriction lifted increases the chance of transmission and may increase cases.  As of last Friday, certain businesses were approved to re-open with new guidelines and physical distancing requirements.  Businesses include Retail, Personal Services, Restaurants, Bars Breweries, Brewpubs, Wineries, Tasting Rooms and Distilleries, & Gyms.    Jefferson County will remain in Phase 1 for a minimum of 21 days, at which time there will be a full review before the potential move to Phase II. If the criteria of Phase 1 cannot continue to be met, OHA will call an immediate meeting with local public health officials for further discussion and evaluation.

  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian Head Casino remains closed until further notice.
  • After exactly two months of being closed because of COVID-19, the Mill Casino is opening back up today, the first in the state. Three Rivers Casino and Chinook Winds Casino Resort will open again later this month.
  • The Yakama Nation and Legends Casino Management issued a statement Friday saying they are focused on the health and safety of team members, guests, and community first in determining when they will schedule an opening for the casino property.  Legends Casino will again extend their closure to at least June 7th.  That date will continue to be evaluated based on guidance from both tribal and regional health officials about what is best for the community.
  • Three Rivers Casino Resorts in Florence and Coos Bay will reopen this Friday morning (5/22/20) at the direction of the Confederated Tribes of Coos Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians of Oregon Tribal Council.  The resorts will reopen under safety guidelines drawn from the advice of the CDC and Oregon Health Authority.
  • The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation’s stay-home order remains in effect through June 1.  The Wildhorse Resort & Casino, a facility that has helped the tribes become the largest employer in Pendleton and one of the largest employers in the region, remains closed.  The Umatilla Tribes will continue to follow its own reopening plan, which opens the reservation in phases based on health criteria rather than a specific date.

Tomorrow is Oregon’s Primary Election Day.  In a primary election candidates from political parties are vying for the right to run in the November Election for statewide and federal positions.  If you are not a member of a political party – a republican or democrat –  you will not see those candidates on your primary ballot.  For unaffiliated races like County Commissioner – those candidates will be on everyone’s ballot.  It’s too late to mail in your ballot so you should turn it in at your county clerk’s office or place in an official ballot drop box by 8 pm tomorrow night.  You can use any drop box in the state and your ballot will be counted.  As of Friday, 24.2 % of ballots had been returned in Oregon.

Idaho is holding an entirely mail-in primary for the first time as the state works to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Ballots must be requested by Tuesday and returned by 8 p.m. June 2, with results announced that evening. Democratic voters will see one high-profile name on their ballot: Former 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Paulette Jordan of Plummer is running against former congressional candidate Jim Vandermaas for a chance to challenge GOP Sen. Jim Risch in November. Jordan garnered national attention during her 2018 campaign amid hopes from supporters that she could become the first Native American governor in the United States.