KWSO News for Thu., Dec. 31, 2020

The Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center has received 400 initial doses of the Moderna Vaccine.  260 people have received that first dose with more scheduled for today.  Those getting the first vaccinations have been health care staff, elders 75 and older, those at High Lookee Lodge, first responders and homeless individuals at the Warm Springs Warming Shelter.  They are working on vaccinations for public facing staff such as those who work at the Market, Casino,  Gas station, and food vendors.

Yesterday (12/30/20) – the Warm Springs Branch of Health and Human services held a drive through event to distribute toys and gifts to youth as well as new coats and food boxes to families.  265 vehicles participated in the drive through with about 800 kids given a gift  All Covid-19 precautions were in place.  The event was staffed by volunteers along with folks from the health and human services branch, Prevention, CPS,  Emergency Management, WSPD and Toys for Tots contributed many of the toys.  Thanks to everyone who helped make the event a success.

This year, the safest way to celebrate the start of 2021 is to stay home. With COVID-19 spreading rapidly in Oregon, going to a New Year’s Eve party can increase your chances of getting and spreading the virus. Eating, drinking, singing and dancing with people outside your household are all high-risk activities. The best way to protect yourself and others is to celebrate virtually, or with just the people you live with.

Locally – Papalaxsimisha and Juvenile Prevention are hosting a Family Virtual Trivia Night from 8 to 10.   You can find the Zoom link on the Papalaxsimisha Facebook page

KWSO will be playing continuous oldies, soul and rock and roll tonight starting at 7 o’clock to keep you company this new year’s eve.

It’s the eve of a New Year…which might mean fireworks shooting off and animal advocates have tips to help your pet cope.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reminds revelers that big explosions are not always beloved by Fido and Mittens. If you absolutely HAVE to set off something more than a sparkler, Sasha Elliott of the Greenhill Humane Society has some advice for your cowering house pet.  “We recommend that you keep your pets inside, in a safe and secure room. I recommend adding some classical music, or your local public radio station. You can also try turning on the TV, but be mindful of what’s playing on it. Sometimes using items such as puzzle-feeders or toys that will keep your pets’ brains activated and potentially distracted…that might be a good approach too.”  Elliott adds soothing your four-legged buddy can be a good way to bond into the New Year.

In a letter to families posted to the Jefferson County 509J school district website yesterday, superintendent, Ken Parshall, shared that schools will return to Comprehensive distance learning next week but then the following week – they will resume some Limited in Person Instruction or LIPI.  He said “When we are able to safely bring students and staff back into our school buildings, everyone will be required to wear masks, wash their hands frequently, and stay 6 feet apart. The governor has directed the Oregon Health Authority to help schools access on-site rapid testing for symptomatic individuals. The testing system will become a key part of our strategy to create a safe learning environment and minimize quarantine times.”    509J will gradually build the LIPI process as they plan choices for students to return to an on-site learning model.  The CASA on-line learning option will continue to be available for those students not ready to return to on-site schooling.   Additional information will be provided to families next week.

The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department have begun delivering a second round of Economic Impact Payments as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 to millions of Americans who received the first round of payments earlier this year.  The initial direct deposit payments may begin arriving yesterday and will continue into next week.  Paper checks have also begun to be mailed.   The IRS emphasizes that there is no action required by eligible individuals to receive this second payment. Some Americans may see the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts before the official payment date of Jan. 4, 2021. The IRS reminds taxpayers that the payments are automatic, and they should not contact their financial institutions or the IRS with payment timing questions.  As with the first round of payments under the CARES Act, most recipients will receive these payments by direct deposit. For Social Security and other beneficiaries who received the first round of payments via Direct Express, they will receive this second payment the same way.  Eligible individuals who did not receive an Economic Impact Payment this year – either the first or the second payment – will be able to claim it when they file their 2020 taxes in 2021.