KWSO News for Wed., Nov. 25, 2020

If you have driven past the Warm Springs Industrial Park lately you likely have noticed an array of solar panels that have been installed.  The Warm Spring Economic Development Corporation or VENTURES has partnered with SOURCE Global on an Innovative Solution to the Water Crisis & Economic Development.  The Installation of the SOURCE Hydropanel® Field will sustainably produce clean drinking water from just sunlight and air.  More than a dozen Tribal members helped install the panels this past month.  As part of the project, reusable, two-and-a-half-gallon containers will be provided free to the community to be used at the filling station with UV technology sterilizing the containers as they are filled. The project plans to be operational before the end of the year.  Besides drinking water for the community – Tribal Council allocated CARES ACT funding to support homes that have ongoing water quality issues.  Those homes will get a two hydropanel system to provide drinking water. And in early 2021, the second phase of the project will double the panels and the overall capacity of the SOURCE Field. This will provide even more drinking water for the community and lead to future expansion with the launch of a sustainable water business, bringing additional jobs and revenue to the community.


A low barrier warming shelter opened in Bend this month. That means anyone experiencing homelessness has an option to get out of the cold at night.   In Warm Springs the local warming shelter is located in the old Elementary School Gym.  The shelter operates on nights when the temperature falls below freezing.


Health officials in the Portland metro-area issued a plea to Oregonians asking them to celebrate Thanksgiving responsibly — at home and with no more than six people. Following previous holidays, COVID-19 cases in Oregon have increased. Health officials say that they are worried if that pattern continues that hospitals will be overburdened and not able to assist everyone in a timely manner. The Oregon Health Authority reported 1,011 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 67,333. In addition, there were 21 COVID-19 related deaths, a one-day record for the state. The total death toll is 847.


Something about this pandemic — or more likely a combination of things — is causing significant collateral damage not captured in the widely publicized Covid death toll. Death records from the state health departments of Oregon and Washington show more than one thousand deaths each above normal this year from causes OTHER THAN Covid-19.  One factor could be that some people are still waiting until they’re really sick to seek care. And then it’s sometimes too late.  Some other possible explanations besides Covid for the higher than normal mortality since March include rising rates of suicide and drug overdoses. There’s also the possibility of COVID-caused deaths going unrecognized.