KWSO News for Thu., Jun. 4, 2020

In Warm Springs Yesterday the Tribal Covid-19 update added 2 more positive or presumptive positive cases of Covid-19 for our community.  There have been 37 positive test results since the pandemic began.  That includes 17 people who have recovered and 20 people who are currently self-quarantining – one of those has been hospitalized.  604 tests have been done at the Warm Springs health and wellness center with 512 tests returning negative, 52 tests are pending, and there were 3 invalid tests that were redone.  An uptick in surveillance testing is expected with the first phase of employees returning to work for the Tribal Organization next Monday.

COVID-19 has claimed two more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 159, the Oregon Health Authority reported yesterday that there were 65 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 4,399.

10 weeks since Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s stay-at-home order, counties are moving closer to being able to enter Phase 2 of reopening. State officials yesterday (6/3/20) say the first 33 Oregon counties to move into Phase 1 are now eligible for Phase 2 as soon as Friday.  Under Phase 2, restaurants and bars can stay open until midnight. Indoor gatherings of 50 people and outdoor gatherings of 100 are allowed. And larger venues like movie theaters and churches can expand occupancy depending on their size and ability to social distance.  Brown says Phase 2 will likely last a long time. Communities will not enter Phase 3 until a reliable treatment or prevention for COVID-19 is available.

The Warm Springs Telecommunications Company announced yesterday that there will be a service window today for 10am – 3pm to allow them to update power inverters at the Pelton Tower.  This will allow them to more quickly respond to outages by remotely troubleshooting equipment on towers.  The work should not take the entire maintenance window.  They will start at 10am.  Tomorrow – Telecom has a service window scheduled for 10am – 3pm for the Schoolie Flat tower for the same work.  If you have any questions – call Warm Springs Telecom at 541-615-0555.

A new report says childhood disparities are worst among rural, black-majority counties in the American South and isolated counties with large Native American populations. A Save the Children report released Tuesday found that children in the most disadvantaged counties die at rates up to five times of children elsewhere in the same state. The report says children in those counties also are 14 times as likely to drop out of school and are three times as likely to lack healthy food and consistent meals. The report examined 2,600 counties using federal data from 2018. The group recommends expanding early childhood education programs.

A decades-long fight to keep oil drilling out of their northeastern Alaskan homeland has emphasized the Gwich’in Athabascan people profound spiritual connection to their homeland and the environment that sustains the caribou and other wildlife on which they depend for food. Now, with flights to their remote villages curtailed due to COVID-19, they have become more dependent on hunting, fishing and gathering and the traditions that run through their ancient way of life.