There were 3 new cases of COVID-19 reported for Warm Springs in Tuesday’s Community COVID-19 Update (12/15/20). Those results were from 73 tests conducted on Monday (12/14/20). The report showed 73 active cases on the Reservation and 153 close contacts being monitored daily.
The Warm Springs clinic anticipates receiving its first vaccines by the end of the year. Community Health Manager Katie Russell:
“So this is actually really big news for I.H.S. They are being treated as a jurisdiction, which is similar to a state. So, one of the things that they are having to do because they are being treated as a jurisdiction now, is we have to create a whole new system of reporting our vaccine usage and things like that. So, that’s an added challenge for I.H.S. The other states, you know we have our Oregon Alert database that we report to, and so they’re just doing business as usual through that, but Indian Health Service is creating a whole new jurisdiction, which is a little bit of a challenge but it actually should be really good news. The allotments and things like that should just be 50 states, I.H.S. and hopefully that will help with our allotments instead of every single time something comes out having to fight for Indian Health Service allotments. So, I think it will be a good thing.”
The first phase will include vaccinations for front line health care workers. People need to continue to take precautions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Russell says preventing the spread and saving lives are the goals:
“We are asking people to stay home. We really do want to decrease the spread. So if you think that you have been exposed to someone who’s positive, please stay home. Please don’t interact with a lot of people. And, come get tested. We’ve seen a lot of testing, which is great. We’ve found a lot of people who’ve come up positive through our testing. Some people who thought they knew they were positive and so it wasn’t that big of a surprise but a couple that didn’t think that they would have been positive who got a test for some random reason and have come up positive. So hopefully if we can get the people who don’t think that they are exposed at all, if we can get people like that staying home then we’ll decrease our spread. Our ultimate goal really is to save lives. We know that this is a different virus. There’s so many things we don’t know, we know that we don’t know a lot of things. We know that some people get sick and it just looks like a cold, it’s not a big deal. But, we know others get sick and we’ve had community members die. We are asking you to stay home so we can prevent people from dying. And, we are asking you to wear a mask, to stay within your household so that we don’t get others sick and that’s really the ultimate goal to stop the spread.”
Oregon announced a record 54 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday along with 1,129 new cases. The news comes as Oregon hospitals will administer the first COVID-19 vaccines to health care workers. St. Charles Health System reports that 975 doses are set to arrive Thursday for St. Charles hospitals and will be given starting next week.
The Papalaxamisha program is inviting families to take part in virtual trivia nights this month. It’s this Friday from 7 to 9pm and again on New Year’s Eve from 8-10pm. You can follow the Papalaxamisha Facebook page for details and to see what other events they have planned. Here’s the Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86450039274
NeighborImpact currently has funds provided by USDA available for weatherizing homes. NeighborImpact’s Weatherization program provides free retrofit repair services which can include adding insulation, sealing leaky ducts and repairing heating systems for income-qualified clients. Weatherization staff conduct an on-site energy audit, a four-hour activity for evaluating and documenting the existing condition of your home. This information is then used to determine which measures will save you the most money on your utility bill. The program is available to eligible low-income clients in Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties and to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Clients can be renters or homeowners and live in mobile homes or stick built homes. For more information or to see if you qualify, visit https://www.neighborimpact.org/get-help/help-with-bills/home-weatherization/. The program is available to eligible low-income clients in Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties and to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Clients can be renters or homeowners and live in mobile homes or stick built homes. Income guidelines are available on the website.