KWSO News for Thu., May 14, 2020

Yesterday (5/13/20) the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs reported that there remain 15 positive cases of COVID-19 on the Warm Springs Reservation.  The number of positive cases has been holding steady.  Potentially there will be more people released from quarantine by week’s end.  4 people so far have recovered.  The Warm Springs Health & Wellness Center has sent in or tested 262 test samples with 246 retuning negative results and 1 test pending.  There is the capacity to conduct 432 more tests with 128 STATE test kits on hand and 304 ABBOT test kits.

The Oregon Health Authority reported four new deaths linked to the coronavirus, as of yesterday morning.  That raises the total number of deaths to at least 134. The number of people in Oregon who have tested positive for the disease increased to 3,416.

This week, staff from St. Charles Health System visited the Warm Springs Health & Wellness Center.  They shared an overview of some of the COVID-19 work they are doing which includes transition from response to recovery.  As Oregon begins the process of allowing businesses to reopen if specific benchmarks are met, Hospitals and Health Care facilities have a roll in assisting, and are working collaboratively to support communities.

A growing number of Oregon counties say they have received approval from the state to begin reopening their economies — including some large metro areas.   Deschutes, Lane and Jackson counties all received approval to move into phase one of Governor Kate Brown’s reopening plan amid the pandemic. That means cities like Bend, Eugene and Medford will be able to reopen restaurants and bars with new social distancing guidelines in place starting tomorrow.  Other more rural counties say they’ve received approval too. Those include Baker, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Lake, Wasco, Crook, Jackson and Douglas counties — as well as Coos, Curry, Klamath, Benton and Yamhill counties.   Governor Brown is expected to speak at a press conference this morning, where it is likely many more counties will also receive phase one approval.

Yesterday the Deschutes County Commission announced that the  Deschutes County Fair & Rodeo has been canceled for the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Bend Bulletin reports that the Commission accepted the recommendation of the Deschutes Country Fair Board to not hold the fair this summer.  County and fair board officials are still hoping to hold some aspects of the event in a safer, more virtual way.  The fair was scheduled for July 29 through Aug. 2 this year.

Runners will need to wait another year before tackling the 200-mile relay race from Mount Hood to the Oregon coast.  Set to take place Aug. 28 and 29, the Hood to Coast Relay has been canceled for 2020, organizers announced Wednesday, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and subsequent statewide ban on large gatherings through the summer.  The cancellation includes both the main relay race and the Portland to Coast walk relay, scheduled to take place at the same time.  Teams registered for the 2020 race will automatically be registered for next year’s race, scheduled to take place Aug. 27-28, 2021, organizers said.

The 2020 Census announced that enumerator operations would begin again delivering information and census forms to homes in rural regions where mail is not delivered to residences.  In Warm Springs – those operations will not begin until at least June 1st as the Tribes continue to maintain social distancing and other protocols to stem the spread of COVID-19.  Households can complete their census online at MY 2020 Census DOT GOV (   You can also do the census on the phone by calling 844-330-2020.   If you wait until the census questionnaire is brought to your home – you can then complete it and mail it in.

Next Tuesday, May 19th is the Primary Election Day in Oregon.  Vote by mail ballots, for the first time this year, have prepaid postage.  If you plan on mailing your ballot – you should do so today.  Starting tomorrow its best to place your ballot in an official drop box to ensure it makes it to your county clerk’s office by 8pm on Tuesday.  In a Primary election – candidates from political parties are vying for the right to run for office in the November General Election.  If you are not a registered member of a political party like the Republican or Democratic Parties – you won’t see those candidates on your ballot.  Positions like County Commissioner are non-affiliated so you will see those candidates on your ballot.  The Warm Springs Ballot Drop Box is across the street from the Post Office.  In Madras the drop box is in the parking lot of the County Clerk’s Office at 66 SE D Street.