Press Release from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
For immediate release: March 14, 2020
Carrie Sampson-Samuels, Public Information Officer – Public Health, (541) 240-8728 Jiselle Halfmoon, Public Information Officer – Tribal Governance, (541) 969-4801
CTUIR Incident Command Status Update
MISSION, Ore. – The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) Incident Command Team (ICT) is working on several plans to ensure the safety of the entire community. The ICT continues to monitor and manage the emerging situation concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a very serious situation with Tribal, Local, National and International implications. As this situation progresses, it increasingly appears that COVID-19 is now in the greater population, so taking immediate measures to slow its spread are imperative – especially to vulnerable populations. Vulnerable populations include people above 60 years of age, people who may be immunocompromised or other chronic conditions such as lung disease, heart disease and diabetes.
The ICT will share information on a frequent and regular basis as quickly as decisions are made. They have reviewed and considered all recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) as they become available, however, the CTUIR has the authority to choose how the guidance is used in our community.
As of 10:30 today, Oregon now has a total of 36 people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, after the Oregon Health Authority announced six new presumptive positive cases of the novel coronavirus.
OHA is reporting 3 new cases in Washington County, 2 new cases in Deschutes County, and 1 new case in Linn County. The Linn County case is at the Veterans’ Home in Lebanon. One of the Deschutes County cases traveled to a country where the virus is actively spreading. The remaining cases are believed to be community acquired.
Current CTUIR guidelines/updates as of March 14, 2020 at 3:30 pm are as follows:
CTUIR Daycare will remain open and continue its regular operations through Friday, March 20.
All CTUIR commission and committee meetings are cancelled until the week of March 30th. Future plans for teleconference meetings are currently being discussed.
CTUIR Public Works will not be disconnecting water services for non-payment during this time. Pacific Power informed its customers on March 12th that it is temporarily suspending disconnections and late fees for non-payment. Umatilla Electric Cooperative has advised customers that if their life has been disrupted by COVID-19 to contact them directly regarding billing (541) 567-6414.
CTUIR Department of Children and Family Services and Yellowhawk Community Wellness collaborated to provide 50 homebound elders with food boxes on March 14th. This outreach will continue for all elder homes as staff work to obtain additional resources and supplies.
If you are an American Indian or Alaska Native elder and would like a warm meal delivered Monday-Friday, you can contact the Nixyaawii Senior center at 541-240-8700.
There are community action plans currently being discussed by the incident command team that will be shared once finalized. Those include:
Food delivery for youth during school closure, update expected by Monday, March 16th
Yellowhawk is finalizing plans internally to ease the access to prescription medications for those that are homebound or at higher risk.
The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation is made up of the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla Tribes, formed under the Treaty of 1855 at the Walla Walla Valley, 12 statute 945. In 1949, the Tribes adopted a constitutional form of government to protect, preserve and enhance the treaty rights guaranteed under federal statute.