KWSO News for Mon., Jun. 8, 2020

Last Friday’s COVID-19 update from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs reported 46 total positive cases of COVID-19 in Warm Springs since the pandemic began.  17 of those individuals have now recovered.  As of Friday – 2 people were hospitalized.  There have been 657 tests done total.  The Health and Wellness Center will continue to do random surveillance testing for high risk community members along with broader surveillance of Tribal employees as offices start to open up.   For Warm Springs Tribal Offices – up to 25% of the workforce may return to the workplace today.  Protocols are in place for this limited reopening.

Indian Head Casino is postponing their planed reopening for this week.  No new reopen date has been decided.  The Plateau Travel Plaza closed at the end of last week and remains closed today.  Fuel service is operating for those with credit or a debit card.

Yesterday, the Oregon Health Authority reported 146 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, as well as the loss of one more life. This raises the state’s death toll to 164 and the total number of cases to 4,808.  Yesterday’s COVID-19 case count marked the highest daily count since the onset of the pandemic in Oregon.

The Oregon Health Authority notes that the overall rate of infection in Oregon remains among the lowest in the United States.  At the same time – last week it was reported that the Oregon ranked 49th in state’s rate of testing.    Clearly with more testing – there will be more positive test results.

The increase in relaxed restrictions should remind everyone the need to continue to maintain physical distancing, wear face coverings where physical distancing cannot be maintained and follow good hand hygiene.  Just because there are less restrictions – does not mean you need to relax your efforts to protect from the spread of COVID-19.  Continue to stay home and stay safe.

Jefferson, Deschutes, Crook and Wasco Counties all entered Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan this past weekend.  That means gathering limits have been raised to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.  Offices can begin reopening and employees can return to workplaces with physical distancing and other measures in place, although remote work is still strongly recommended whenever possible

In Madras on Saturday – more than a hundred people turned out for a peaceful protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in opposition to systematic racism and advocating for an end to police violence.  Protests across the nation have been held since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of a police officer.  The Madras Rally was organized by young people and participants were a mix of ages and ethnicities.  The group gathered at the Welcome to Madras corner across from Sonic and marched to Madras City Hall.  You can check out photos of the scene on KWSO’s Facebook page courtesy of Jayson Smith.

Tomorrow at Noon We Count Oregon is hosting a virtual rally about Census and Sovereignty to help us all better understand how much Tribal People have at stake in participating in the 2020 census.   You can learn about Indigenizing the Census During the online event tomorrow at noon.  To encourage folks to be part of the event – there will be 4 – 8th Generation blankets awarded to participants.  You can REGISTER NOW.  We will also broadcast “Census and Sovereignty” live tomorrow at noon.