KWSO News for Tue., Sep. 1, 2020

There were 6 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Warm Springs as of the end of the day last Friday. The Covid-19 Community Update report Monday includes all information available through Friday, August 28, 2020.  307 is the total number of positive cases of Covid-19. There are 30 active cases and 57 close contacts being monitored by Public Health.

This is the Monday evening fire update from Northwest Incident Management Team 7 for the two fires burning on the Warm Springs Reservation:

“The north and east flanks of the Lionshead Fire continued to hold while firefighters improved the lines. Firefighters have lined the slop over the southern perimeter from Saturday’s wind event. Air craft was used to slow the fire’s spread while crews and dozers worked to extend the control lines to the west. The P-515 Fire is in good shape and is 92% contained.”

The P-515 at 4,600 acres is 92% contained and the Lionshead Fire is 7,397 acres with 25% containment.

The White River Fire has burned about 15,411 acres and is 10 percent contained.  The wildfire was first reported on Aug. 17. It is currently burning about eight miles from Maupin. There is a total of 1,188 personnel fighting the fire.

U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced nearly $20 million in funding to combat the opioid crisis. This money will go to the Oregon State Government, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Indians, Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. These funds are distributed through two U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) programs. These programs, State Opioid Response (SOR) and Tribal Opioid Response (TOR), are each in the first year of what will ultimately be a two-year program. These two programs are expected to disburse almost $3 billion nationwide to provide community-level resources for prevention, treatment and recovery support services in both states and tribes. States and tribes are provided funds to develop tailored approaches to prevention, treatment, and recovery from opioid use disorders and/or stimulant use disorders through the SOR program.

Oregon Health Authority reported 162 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases and  1 new death in its report Monday. With Labor Day weekend coming up, OHA reminds Oregonians that the safest way to celebrate is to avoid groups and gatherings, to stay home as much as possible, and to follow face covering guidance if outside the home. Past holiday weekends have led to outbreaks in Oregon among people celebrating in unsafe ways and led to an uptick in cases. With cases falling, it’s more important than ever for Oregonians to modify or cancel holiday weekend gatherings and celebrate in safe ways so our state can continue to make progress against COVID-19.

Lisa Holden-Smalls is new teacher to the Warm Springs K-8.  She will teach 8th grade science.  Holden-Smalls moved here from South Carolina and says staff has been getting ready for the new school year, starting off with distance learning:


Human- and lightning-caused fires sparked across Oregon ahead of National Preparedness Month. These stern warnings make it critical for all Oregonians to get prepared for both natural and human-caused disasters. September is National Preparedness Month, and it is kicked-off in Oregon by Home Inventory Week. To recognize this often overlooked part of disaster preparation, the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation encourages all Oregonians to do two simple tasks that will save time, money, and stress when disaster strikes: Build a home inventory – Take video or photos of each room in your home and write down the purchase date and price of high value items. And, review your insurance coverage, discuss your policies with your insurance company or agent and make sure you have the right coverage.

The Oregon Health Authority released its Weekly Testing Summary, which showed that of the 26,550 people tested the week of Aug. 23-29 whose results have been reported to OHA, 4.4 percent were positive. As in past weeks, the total for that week is likely to rise as test results continue to be reported to OHA. As of Aug. 29, Oregon’s cumulative positivity rate is 4.6 percent of people tested. This is considerably lower than the national average of 9 percent. A declining positive test rate shows that Oregonians’ efforts to use face coverings, physically distance, and avoid gatherings is helping to slow the spread of COVID-19. But Oregonians need to continue to take these measures, especially over the upcoming Labor Day holiday.