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Warm Springs residents told to stay home, wear masks; COVID-19 cases now at 15

Official says he's glad to see the area is a 'ghost town'

WARM SPRINGS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- As the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs reported their 15th COVID-19 case on Thursday, tribal officials are now pleading with residents to stay home. People living on the reservation are now being asked to wear masks in public when they cannot maintain six feet of distance.

"Not to the level of a full quarantine, but enough to send messages to people to please stay home, stay safe, stay off the streets, wear your masks,” Louie Pitt, the tribes' director of governmental affairs, said Wednesday. He added, “social distancing works.”

Pitt is calling the reservation a "ghost town," which he said in a situation such as this is “music to my ears.” Despite that, though, he said there is still more work to be done regarding residents on the reservation.

"They are going to keep gathering -- they are Indians. They want to get together for ceremonies and such, and we are trying to educate them and (say) please -- we understand the risk," Pitt said.

According to the Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center four of the 15 people who have contracted COVID-19 have recovered.

Here's Thursday evening's update from the tribal officials:

“As of 4:30p on 5/5/2020 – Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center has sent in or tested 210 test samples, with 195 Negative, 8 pending, 15 positive, 4 have recovered. (8 reported today) Note, the STATE lab is taking 24-48 hours for results.” Hyllis Dauphinais, Sr., CEO Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center. This week is nurses week, thank you for you do for our community and hanging in there with us during this CoVID-19 pandemic.

"The tribal partners response team is working to develop some guidance for all of our tribal entities as we begin planning to reopen the community. First, essential service, then slowly working to get the government services and businesses back open safely over a 4-8 week period.

"The Corona Virus-19 has been called a “young disease”, meaning there is a lot we do not know about it and our professional health staff will answer questions such as “What is recovery?” “A person is considered recovered if it has been at least 10 days after the date of the test AND 3 days after symptoms are gone. They can come out of isolation, however, they are instructed to remain home as much as possible. If they need to leave the house, they must wear a mask. They should continue to monitor themselves for any changes in health status.” said Katie Russell, BSN, RN, Community Health Services Manager, CTWS.

“People with mild symptoms may be considered recovered 10 days from the test if they have been symptom free for at least 3 days. Others, with more severe symptoms, may take longer to recover. The Community Health Nurses follow each case closely and consult with medical providers to determine when someone is considered recovered,” according to CHS Manager Russell.

"Self isolation, quarantine and also monitoring own health is needed. When one is determined to be recovered, it still necessary to follow the instructions from nurses. The wearing of masks, temperature checks, watch for return of symptoms."


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Jordan Williams

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