KWSO News for Mon., May 4, 2020

As of Friday afternoon (5/1/20) there were10 positive cases of COVID-19 on the Warm Springs Reservation.  The Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center has sent in or tested 191 test samples, with 167 Negative test results and 14 results pending.  In Oregon there have been 2 thousand six hundred eighty positive tests with 109 deaths due to COVID-19, statewide.

Another face mask giveaway took place yesterday in the Warm Springs Community Center Parking Lot with masks provided by the Portland Canoe Family and sewing volunteers in Prineville.  That followed a face mask giveaway Friday afternoon.  Face coverings are increasingly being required in stores and public spaces.  A scarf, bandana, or cloth face mask all work.

The highest rate of coronavirus cases of any county on the U.S. West Coast is in Washington state’s Yakima County. As of Friday, Yakima County had 1,128 positive cases, a rate of 455 cases per 100,000 residents. Health experts point to a large number of essential workers, a large number of cases in long-term care facilities and a large agricultural workforce living and working in close quarters as the causes. Yakima County also had a relatively high number of deaths from coronavirus with 47. The county has about 250,000 residents.

The Lummi tribe in Washington state has seen a spate of new coronavirus infections that health officials traced to children playing together.   Sixteen new cases were announced between Wednesday and Friday by the Lummi Nation health department — the tribe’s first new infections in weeks.   Tribal officials said it was apparent from the outbreak that families and children were not following orders to limit their interactions and practice social distancing.  The Lummi Indian Business Council extended its stay-at-home order through May 31 and added a curfew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. for residents of the reservation about 90 miles north of Seattle.  After several weeks without new cases, people had become complacent, said Dr. Dakotah Lane, the Lummi Nation’s health director, told The Seattle Times. Lane said the outbreak was traced to some kids playing together, but it couldn’t be determined where the initial infection came from.  The Lummi were among the first to enact a strict stay-home order, on March 22, to slow the virus’s spread. The tribe also took early steps to obtain testing supplies and educate its roughly 5,300 members about keeping apart.

The 75th Annual Crooked River Roundup, scheduled for June 25-27, has been canceled because of the coronavirus.  It is the first time, since the inaugural Crooked River Roundup in 1945, the rodeo has been canceled.  Held annually in June and July at the Crook County Fairgrounds in Prineville, the Roundup Association puts on two separate events that includes the PRCA rodeo and the largest pari-mutuel horse races in the State of Oregon. An announcement regarding the Crooked River horse races is scheduled for May 15th.

The Warm Springs Branch of Natural Resources has announced a limited fishery for spring chinook at Sherars Falls.   Due to the small predicted return of spring chinook to the Deschutes river – the Off Reservation Fish and Wildlife Committee has decided to limit the fishery at Sherars Falls.   Fishing will be open from dawn until dusk each week from Thursday to Saturday through June 30th.  Wild fish must be released but hatchery salmon with no adipose fin may be kept for subsistence use.

The 509-J meal program resumes today with meals being offered to youth 1-18 years of age.   The free, grab and go meals, are being provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner available together.   509-J’s food service program reported a drop in their meal count last week so want to make sure families are taking advantage of the free meals.

Kids can pick up meals weekdays between 9:30 and 10:30 in Madras at the High School or at Bridges.  Also at Metolius Elementary and the Warm Springs K thru 8 Academy.

Additional sites in Madras are by St Patrick’s Catholic Church – at 9:30, at Tops Trailer Park – at 10:15, and in the 97-Mart parking lot – at 10:45.  Additional Warm Springs sites and times are:

  • West Hills & Upper Dry Creek – at 9:30
  • Tenino Apartments & Sunnyside – at 10
  • The Trailer Court and Wolfe Point at – 10:30
  • Kah-Nee-Ta Hamlets – at 11
  • The Seekseequa Fire Hall – at 11:15
  • The Simnasho Longhouse at 11:40
  • And the Sidwalter Fire Hall at 12:25

This week at the Warm Springs K thru 8 Academy teaching staff continue to meet to work on distance learning packets that will go out tomorrow to the student meal sites.  On Friday afternoon there will be a recognition of teachers and staff for teacher appreciation week – with a Dive-Through Celebration at 1:30.   Staff will drive through the WSK8 parking lot to pick up “Appreciation Treats” in front of the school.  The event announcement says – quote “Even though we are all apart – Thank you for continuing to teach with all of your heart… we appreciate all you do.”  And just a reminder – if your student has not heard from your teacher – please call the school at 541-553-1128.

Warm Springs K-8 Academy School officer Kevin O’Brien reports he and members of the Warm Springs Police Department have accompanied the 509-J meal deliveries to lend a helping hand.  You can see some photos of what the meal distribution looks like HERE.  Officers also helped with the distribution of Dental Hygiene kits from the Health and Wellness.  Click HERE to see those images.