KWSO News for Mon., Jun. 7, 2021

There are new COVID-19 Protocols expected to start today for Warm Springs Tribal Offices.  They will continue to check temperatures upon entry into Tribal Facilities.  If you can provide proof of vaccination, you do not need to wear a facemask.  Buildings will continue to encourage social distancing and routine disinfecting of public areas.  The recommendation for changes to protocols was approved by Warm Springs Tribal Council as presented by the local COVID-19 Response Team

Gov. Kate Brown announced that Oregon is close to lifting mask, physical distancing and capacity restrictions statewide. Last month, Brown set a vaccination goal of 70% of Oregon adults receiving at least their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine before reopening the economy. As of Friday, 66% of people who are 18 or older in the state had been vaccinated. For more than a year Oregon has faced some of the nation’s strictest safety measures — county risk levels, mask requirements inside and outside, limited gatherings and restaurants closed for indoor dining.

Jefferson County remains in the HIGH RISK category for COVID-19 as they remain below the 65% vaccination rate for residents ages 16 and older required to move into the LOWER RISK category.  You can learn more about what that means at the Jefferson County Public Health website:

Oregon health officials Friday outlined a stark contrast emerging in the effort to end the COVID-19 pandemic and achieve full reopening in the state.   While the end of safety guidelines and mask mandates for those who are vaccinated is near; the state is urging people who haven’t been vaccinated to do so immediately, as the virus has continued to surge among unvaccinated populations.  Dr. Louis D’Avignon (Da-vin-yon) of St. Charles Hospital in Bend said unvaccinated patients pose a threat to healthcare systems statewide.   “We’ve had, you know, very tragic cases that have been very trying for, obviously, the patients, their families, our staff. We had to move out a young person, less than 40 years old, to get ECMO therapy, out of state because all of the ECMO beds in our state are taken up.”  In an effort to ease access to the vaccine for busy Oregonians, Gov. Brown has asked four OHA pharmacy partners to keep their doors open later for the next four Fridays including Rite Aid, Walgreens, Safeway/Albertsons and CVS.

In Warm Springs there is a COVID-19 vaccination clinic tomorrow at the Warm Springs Presbyterian Church from 10am – 4pm.  They will have all three COVID-19 vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.  If you have put off getting vaccinated – here is a chance to get it done.  Walk ins are welcome – or if you want to make an appointment you can call 541-553-2131.

Fire season was officially declared last Friday June 4th for the Warm Springs Reservation.  All regulations governing any timber industry or other outside activities will be enforced.  As fire danger and risk rise, more stringent regulations will be implemented.

Last Wednesday (6/2/21) the Jefferson County Commissioners unanimously selected Undersheriff Marc Heckathorn to replace retiring Sheriff Jim Adkins as Sheriff of Jefferson County taking office July 1st.   Heckathorn will serve as sheriff for the remainder of Sheriff Adkins term.  He does plan on running to be elected sheriff in next May’s election.   Heckathorn was selected after a competitive application process and public interview process.  He is a graduate from Madras High School class of 94 and has been working in law enforcement since 1996.

The Oregoniann/ reports people in communities near Mt. Hood felt a moderate earthquake Saturday night. The magnitude 3.9 earthquake hit less than four miles northeast of Government Camp, just after 8:50 p.m. Andy Diaz was working at the Charlie’s Mountain View restaurant when he felt the shaking. Another co-worker, Valerie Tergerson, was taking orders for a table of six when she heard the wood in the building creak.