KWSO News for Mon., Jan. 4, 2021

There were a total of 16 new cases of COVID-19 in Warm Springs.  By the end of the week, 260 individuals had received the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine with more scheduled for this week.  Anyone interested in getting on the vaccination list can call the clinic at 541-553-1196.  It will be several months before everyone can be offered the vaccine

The federal government is tracking the health of people who have received their coronavirus vaccine shots.  Dr. Francis Riedo from Evergreen Health in Kirkland says the Centers for Disease Control’s V-Safe program uses a smart phone app to communicate with recipients.  Dr. Riedo says: “It sends you a little reminder every day to document your side effects. In effect, the Centers for Disease Control is trying to crowdsource millions of peoples’ true responses to the vaccine to get a good sense of the side effects.”  The feedback will allow the C-D-C to adjust the guidance it gives to vaccinators who administer the shots to people.  People who receive the shots can go to the C-D-C website to sign up for V-Safe. They’ll be asked for their names and contact information, and let the agency know the vaccine they received and when.

In a letter to 509J families last week– school superintendent Ken Parshall shared that the State of Oregon hopes to have most schools safely reopened by February 15. To that end, the Jefferson County School District administration will begin meeting today (1/4/21) to create a safe and staged reopening strategy. Parshall says they have been planning for this eventuality for months. Implementation of an effective plan will depend on coordination between the District, the Jefferson County Health Department, Indian Health Services, and the Warm Springs Covid-19 Response Team.  It also depends upon the entire community continuing to follow CDC guidance mitigating the transmission of Covid-19, which includes frequent hand washing, wearing a face mask and social distancing.  The roll out of vaccinations will also impact schools ability to reopen.   This week – 509J schools continue with Comprehensive Distance Learning and then next week will begin to phase back in Limited In-person Instruction (or LIPI).   LIPI will continue to add grade levels each week thru this month.   Families continue to have choices for students offering the CASA on-line learning option for those not ready to return to on-site.

Yesterday just before noon there was a fatal crash involving 3 vehicles near milepost 77 on Highway 26 on the Warm Springs Reservation.  There was one fatality.  Highway 26 was closed for approximately five and a half hours for the investigation.  Oregon State Police were assisted by ODOT, Warm Springs Fire and Safety, and the Warm Springs Police Department.

Newly elected Second Congressional District of Oregon representative, Cliff Bentz, was sworn in as a member of the 117th U.S. Congress, yesterday, by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.  Bentz succeeds Greg Walden in representing the 2nd district that includes all or part of 20 counties across northern, eastern, central, and southern Oregon.