KWSO News for Mon., Aug. 3, 2020

There were 4 new cases of Covid-19 reported in last Friday’s Covid-19 UPDATE from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. There have been 181 total positive cases of Covid-19 since the pandemic began, 115 individuals have recovered. There have been a total of 2005 tests done at the Health and Wellness Center, and there were 41 test results pending on Friday.

The Warm Springs Covid-19 response team met with Tribal Council on Friday recommending that Tribal Offices remain closed for an additional week to help flatten the curve.  Tribal Council concurred and so the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs are set to reopen on Tuesday, August 11, 2020.

Warm Springs Public Health Nurses are doing the contact tracing for positive cases of Covid-19.  In some instances they are not able to determine where a person contracted the coronavirus or they were still doing contact tracing.  On July 30, 2020 – 18% of active cases were listed as unknown for where they were exposed.  It was determined that: 49% were exposed to Covid-19 in their own household, 31% were exposed to Covid-19 at a gathering or visiting people and 2% were exposed in the workplace.

Data is being compiled to give a more in depth picture of the positive cases in Warm Springs.  On July 30th – of the 51 active cases in our community 61% were 29 years old or younger.  Although younger people are less likely to have preexisting conditions and may or may not be symptomatic, it’s important to remember how easily this coronavirus spreads.

COVID-19 has claimed one more life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 326, the Oregon Health Authority reported on Sunday and there 285 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 19,097. 15 cases were reported in Central Oregon.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon officials say an administrative change will enable the state to offer early prepayments to “tens of thousands” of unemployed workers who are waiting to have their claims settled. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the state’s adjudication process has been clogged by a backlog that typically runs between 12 and 16 weeks, leaving many newly jobless Oregonians without income for months during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, qualifying workers will receive prepayments while their claims work through the adjudication process. They will have to pay the money back if Oregon ultimately denies their claims, but the state says it chose participants who are likely to have their claims approved. Officials say the prepayments will still take “several weeks.”

Governor Kate Brown announced winners of the 2020 Governor’s Arts Awards last week. Roberta J. Kirk, a traditional artist and educator from Warm Springs is one of the recipients. Governor Brown said, “The awards are a great way to celebrate Oregon’s artistic treasures and honor the impact they have had on our state.” Kirk was honored for her volunteer work teaching apprentices beadwork and the beliefs and ceremonies that make the beadwork meaningful. The news release reads “She has taught countless women how to do beadwork and dentalium work for regalia and everyday clothing and also has conducted several workshops on Plateau dress-making. Kirk also serves as a traditional food gatherer for the Simnasho Longhouse.” This is Oregon’s highest honor for exemplary service to the arts and it will be celebrated during a virtual ceremony on Sept. 12 on the Oregon Arts Commission Facebook page. The ceremony is open to the public.

Snake River dams would remain in place under a final study released Friday by federal agencies. The plan guides dam management on the Columbia River System, which includes the four controversial dams in Washington. Northwest Public Broadcasting’s Courtney Flatt has more:

Two petroglyphs that have sat for decades outside the historic Grant House near Fort Vancouver are being returned closer to their place of origin. A joint project involving the city of Vancouver, Clark County Historical Society, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Yakama Nation, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and the Nez Perce Tribe will see that the two petroglyphs move to Columbia Hills Historical State Park this fall, The Columbian reported.  The pieces are estimated to be up to 10,000 years old.