KWSO News for Wed., Aug. 12, 2020

There were no new positive cases of Covid-19 in Warm Springs as reported in Tuesday’s Covid-19 UPDATE from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. There have been a total of 212 positive cases on the reservation and 180 people have recovered. There are 42 test results are pending.

Oregon Health officials are urging parents to get their children caught up on vaccines. Parents may be nervous about taking their children and teens to their doctors’ offices right now. As a result, children in Oregon are falling behind on their childhood vaccinations, the Oregon Health Authority says. August is National Immunization Awareness Month and OHA wants to ensure the pandemic is not followed by an increase in cases of vaccine-preventable diseases or a preventable outbreak.

Jefferson County Public Health is partnering with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs to collect donations for residents, including unhoused individuals and families. New supplies are preferred since used supplies are required to be quarantined before distribution.  Much needed items include:

  • Shampoo – Environmentally Friendly
  • Antibacterial Soaps (castile preferred)
  • Deodorant (male & female)
  • Non-alcohol Mouthwash
  • Small Sunscreen & Lotions
  • Flashlights (easy to pack, solar if possible)
  • Fluorescent Vests
  • Socks (unisex/white)
  • Bandanas
  • T-Shirts, Unisex (L, XL, XXL)
  • Sleeping Bags / Backpacks (min. 20L)
  • Tents (compact 2/3 person or 3/4)
  • Diapers / Baby Wipes
  • Canned Foods (soups, chili, fruits)
  • Hardtack / Pilot Bread
  • Hard Candy (sugar free & regular)
  • Disinfectant Type Cleaners
  • Laundry Soap
  • Kleenex
  • Bleach Wipes / Bleach Dish Soap / Dial Bar Soap
  • Bottled Water
  • Toothbrushes / Toothpaste
  • Gift Cards – Grocery Outlet, Safeway, Thriftway ($5.00 limit)

Items can be dropped off at the Jefferson County Public Health Building located at 715 SW 4th St., Madras, OR 97741 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday for delivery to Warm Springs.  A box will be visible at the entrance.  If items are too large to fit, they may be placed next to the box. Additional donations for Warm Springs are being collected in Deschutes County by a community group utilizing an online Community-led Donation Drive Pledge Form: The Central Oregon Black Leaders Assembly and Bellatazza Coffee located in downtown Bend, are also continuing a water donation drive for Warm Springs and more information can be found on the COBLA Facebook Page.

The Oregon Department of Human Services on Monday submitted a request to the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services to continue the ability to waive eligibility interviews in order to allow the department to have flexibility to meet the needs of Oregonians receiving SNAP benefits. The department is seeing a surge in SNAP applications as a result of the July 25 expiration of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program. Nearly 5,800 Oregonians applied for benefits during the first week in August, which is 37 percent higher when compared to the weeks before the supplemental unemployment payments ended. The department is anticipating continued increases in new applications at the same time the federal waiver expires and requires current SNAP recipients to recertify their information to keep their benefits. Since the pandemic, the department has provided nearly $470 million in food benefits to over 702,000 Oregonians.

OSU-Cascades campus in Bend has decided that it will deliver about half of all classes in blended or in-person formats. On-site courses will be coupled with remote learning options, making it possible for students to live and study from home if it is the best option for them. Some courses with a heavy experiential learning component, such as labs and field courses will require in-person learning.

Warm Springs Emergency Manager Dan Martinez reports that the Water Distribution Center remains closed until further notice. He says the onsite showers are being released.