KWSO News for Mon., Jul. 20, 2020

Friday afternoon’s COVID-19 UPDATE from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs reported 10 more cases of Covid-19 for a total of 120 on the Warm Springs Reservation since testing began.  Of that  88 people have recovered.  1543 tests have been done with 65 tests still pending. In the update, the Warm Springs CoVID-19 Response team stated they are “monitoring the Corona Virus-19 positive numbers” and are “watching for increased threat to our community.” Tribal Council, the update said, will be reviewing an isolation/quarantine ordinance, “…to control the spread and public health risk to others of COVID-19 on the Warm Springs Reservation…”

The Oregon Employment Department on Friday launched a new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) online form that will make it easier for Oregonians to apply. The form will also allow the more than 100,000 mostly self-employed Oregonians who have applied for the assistance to get their weekly benefit payments faster. The three major improvements are: Speeding up weekly benefit processing, Improved submission success and, Ensuring all required information is complete prior to submission. People should resubmit their weekly claims through the new form if they have not already been paid for those weeks, though they do not have to, the Employment Department says. Doing so will speed up how quickly they get their benefits, and will let claims specialists focus on claims for people who have not yet received their benefits. Oregonians who are applying for or receiving benefits can access the new PUA online claim form by going to the Employment Department’s Online Claim System and clicking on the blue “Pandemic Unemployment Assistance” button–the same place they went previously to upload their PDF claim forms.

The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs is seeking to fill one vacancy on the Warm Springs Court of Appeals. The Warm Springs Court of Appeals consists of judges appointed for a term of three years by the Tribal Council. Applicants must pass the tribal bar examination within six months of assuming office. An appeals court judge cannot serve on the Tribal Council or any other tribal board or committee. Applicants should submit a Letter of Interest, resume, background check form and credit check form. Credit check forms are available at the Tribal Credit office and background check forms at the executive management office or download online at the tribal website. All documents must be submitted to: Michele Stacona, Secretary-Treasurer/CEO. The Deadline to apply is Monday, August 13, 2020.

It is critical that anyone on the reservation who has been diagnosed with a positive case of Covid-19 complete at least the 14-day isolation period. That means staying in a room separate from your family, and not having direct contact with anyone, as possible. The Public Health nurses will call to check on you and assist with resources. For anyone who has had close contact with a positive case of Covid-19, but who has either not been tested or tested negative, you need to stay home for 14 days and take all precautions to keep others safe. You may not have any symptoms during the 14-day incubation period; so it’s best to stay home and isolate just in case.

The Warm Springs Health and Wellness Branch and partners are conducting a Covid-19 homeless outreach project for the tribal community. If you or someone you care about is currently experiencing homelessness in the Warm Springs community. Contact one of these individuals for assistance: Buffy, Tribal Health Care analyst, 541-615-0141, Fay at Tribal Social Services, 541-553-3415, Ron or Joni with the HAPPI office, 541-553-0036 or Shawnetta, Medical Social Worker, 541-553-2460. The homeless, or unhoused, are some of the most vulnerable populations for exposure and spread of the virus.

A public interest research group studying state COVID-19 data is calling for an immediate lockdown of eight counties, including Jefferson County, for at least two weeks for failing to contain the virus, KTVZ reported. The Oregon State Public Interest Research Group (OSPIRG) released a fact sheet on Friday analyzing the performance of Oregon’s 36 counties against three critical benchmarks for COVID-19 containment: (1) daily case reports, measured on a per capita adjusted basis; (2) testing volume, measured by test positivity over the most recent week of available data; and (3) success of contact tracing efforts, measured by the percentage of cases that could not be traced to a known source over the most recent week of available data. Based on these findings, the group is calling for immediate action to stop the spread of COVID-19 by returning eight hard-hit counties (rated “Red” or “Failing”) to lock down for at least two weeks.

Three more people died from coronavirus in Oregon, raising the statewide death toll to 260. The Oregon Health Authority also reported 436 new coronavirus cases, both confirmed and presumptive. This brings the total statewide cases to 14,579. Sunday’s report is just shy of the daily record for coronavirus cases, 437 cases, set last week. The Central Oregon impact was five new cases in Crook County, 13 new cases in Deschutes County and 15 new cases in Jefferson County.