KWSO News for Thu., Jul. 9, 2020

Wednesday (7/8/20) afternoon’s Community Covid-19 update from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs reported 8 additional positive cases of Covid-19.  There have been a total of 94 cases of coronavirus since testing began.  62 people have recovered.  1247 tests have been done with 41 tests pending.  7 people have been hospitalized with 4 individuals discharged.

The Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center has 294 State test kits in their inventory and 287 ABBOTT (Rapid) test kits.  In addition to those with symptoms or direct close contact with individuals who have tested positive, surveillance testing continues for high risk community members and broader surveillance of Tribal employees.

Remember to prevent the spread of Covid-19:

  • wash your hands frequently
  • cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • wear a facemask or face covering anytime you are in public
  • wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before and after going to the store or another public place where you might touch something.
  • practice social distancing by staying home
  • stay at least six feet away from people not from your household
  • keep kids home
  • go out only for essentials like groceries, medical care, or work
  • do not gather in groups

It is critical that anyone who has been diagnosed with a positive case of Covid-19 that there be at least a 14 day isolation period.  So 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 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 – but with a 14 day incubation period – it’s best to stay home and isolate just in case.

COVID-19 has claimed four more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 224.  The Oregon Health Authority reported early Wednesday morning that there were 217 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 10,817.

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced Wednesday that the Warm Springs Housing Authority has secured a $900,000 federal grant to help with the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The $900,000 Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Imminent Threat award is part of the funding allocated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that Congress passed in March. According to the press release, the federal resources will be used to rehabilitate six units for quarantine purposes and overcrowding reduction, as well as make improvements to the Warm Springs Housing Authority’s Office building so employees and customers can safely conduct business and reduce person-to-person contact.

Another summer season fishery has been set.  It is 6 am, Monday, July 13th to 6 pm, Thursday, July 16th.  The open area is all of Zone 6.  And, the Off-Reservation Fish and Wildlife Committee has established regulations concerning eel harvest at Willamette Falls.  Tribal members must carry their enrollment cards with them during eel gathering activities.  Harvest is allowed through August 15th.  You may use hands or hand-powered tools.  Harvest is open 7 days per week and fishing hours are sunrise to sunset.  This is a subsistence fishery.  The Branch of Natural Resources will monitor fishers and you must allow your catch to be inspected.  The flashboards above the dam will begin to be installed Monday, July 13th.  Please be aware and stay away from falling debris if workers are on top of the dam.

Indian Head Casino has temporarily closed. Its Facebook page states this is due to staffing issues. No date has been announced for reopening at this time.

Warm Springs Tribal Member Amanda Squiemphen-Yazzie recently organized a Facebook fundraiser to benefit the Chuush Fund. As of Wednesday evening, that fundraiser had gathered over $81,000 to add to the Chuush Fund. The Chuush Fund, organized by the MRG Foundation in partnership with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, accepts contributions from foundations and individuals to directly benefit the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs as they work to restore their access and infrastructure for clean water. The Chuush Fund, including the Facebook fundraiser, has raised over $124,000. Visit to learn more about the fund or to donate.

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A steep drop in lottery funds due to the COVID-19 crisis has killed the sale of $273 million in state bonds to pay for major projects in Oregon. The Bulletin newspaper of Bend reports that the 37 projects authorized by the Legislature at the end of the 2019 session include water system overhauls in Warm Springs and Salem. In order to sell bonds, the state has to show a 4-to-1 ratio between forecast Lottery Fund revenue and the amount of debt in the bonds. The ratio of just over 3-to-1 is too low. Late Wednesday, Gov. Kate Brown confirmed the bond sale was dead. The projects do not automatically roll over to the next budget. Each will have to compete again for a diminishing pot of state dollars during the 2021 session. The bonds were scheduled to be issued next spring. Brown is expected to call a special session of the Legislature as early as later this month to deal with budget cuts, increases in taxes and fees — or both — to fill the gap.