WARM SPRINGS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Amid rising COVID-19 cases, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs said late Tuesday they are siting an isolation and quarantine detention facility for those who test positive but refuse to take such steps to protect public safety.
The tribes said in their nightly update, "The Warm Springs Tribal Council authorized a location for the isolation and quarantine detention facility within the community."
They said the Tribal Council also helped refine the process for dealing with non-complying individuals that test positive. Ordinance 101 was passed to keep non-complying individuals that test positive for COVID-19 away from the community.
"All individuals and or groups that test positive or may have been in contact with a positive (case) will be ordered by professional health officials to isolate or quarantine," the statement said.
The new ordinance allows the Tribal Court and Warm Springs police, once a person is found to have the virus, to detain them in order “to prevent loss of life,” they said.
As of late Tuesday, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs reported 193 positive cases, 1,843 negative test results and three deaths since the pandemic began.
A total of 18 people have been hospitalized, 14 discharged and 115 have recovered, the tribes said.
In response to the pandemic and a recommendation from the tribes' COVID-19 team, the tribal council approved an additional one-week shutdown, to next Tuesday, according to Michele Stacona, the tribes' secretary-treasurer/CEO. The closure of tribal government began July 20.
The Indian Head Casino has been closed for nearly a month, and the reopening is still up in the air, said Belinda Chavez, marketing director for the casino.
"We're taking that a week at a time," she said. "Of course, we take the recommendations from our local government, and obviously from our regulatory body here on the reservation."
Chavez said the size of the community can play a role in the spread of the virus.
"You're more likely to have family that are working together that both work at one or the other property," she said. "So when that contact tracing takes place. I feel it has a bigger impact on a smaller community. They may live next door to each other, or they may live in the same household, so it does have an impact."
The tribes' Monday night news release indicated that the "tribal council will be meeting to further prioritize the COVID needs of the reservation," including water infrastructure. A boil-water notice is still in effect for the Agency area, several weeks after the main water line broke as it crosses Shitike Creek.
According to the news release, "The Warm Springs Tribal Council will be meeting to further prioritize the COVID needs of the reservation. Generally, water infrastructure needs lead the list with firmer isolation and quarantine laws to be imposed on those found to be positive with the virus but not confining themselves.
"Ordinance 101 was recently approved by Tribal Council to protect the reservation community by detaining infectious individuals in a safe and sanitary location. The water infrastructure crisis will be discussed with the Tribe’s water team to discuss timelines, costs and needs."
Repairs on the water main break are scheduled to begin Saturday, KWSO reported.