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River Health Newsletter 11/23

Download a PDF version of this newsletter here.

Happy Thanksgiving

Feasts are a time to celebrate and thank the Creator for the bounty of this beautiful earth that blesses, feeds, and sustains our bodies and spirits. Indian people have gathered since time immemorial in giving thanks, however this year, the pandemic will require some adjustments in how we gather with our families, elders, and loved ones for years to come.

The CDC advises that “the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with,” and gathering with friends and even family members who do not live with you increases the chances of becoming infected with the virus or the flu, or transmitting the virus. And this is especially good advice with the rise in cases on reservations.

However you celebrate, please remember our elders during the holiday with phone calls, virtual visits, or preparing them a meal you can deliver in a way that does not involve contact.

If you do decide to gather for the holiday with another household, tribal and state mandates or guidelines in our area have limited them to no more than six people between only two households in the same area to avoid travel. CDC recommends these steps to lower the chance of spreading COVID, however there is no absolutely safe way to gather in groups right now:

  • Wear a mask and safely store your mask while eating and drinking. 
  • Stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone who does not live with you.
  • Stay quarantined before gathering to reduce chances of bringing the virus to the gathering.
  • Get your flu shot before travel.
  • Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils.
  • Avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled.
  • If possible, eat outside. If not possible, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors. Use a window fan in one of the open windows to blow air out of the window. This will pull fresh air in through the other open windows.
  • If sharing food, have one person serve food with gloves and use single-use options, like plastic utensils.

For complete CDC Thanksgiving recommendations and guidelines, visit:

No matter how you decide to celebrate the holiday this year, please be safe. Together we can make it through this pandemic as we look forward to celebrating future holidays and feasts together once again.

Health Events

10am to 2pm this Wednesday (Nov 25), there will be a free COVID testing event at the Celilo Longhouse. For more info, call Jen Cramer (541) 256-4232 or Peter Sager (541) 897-6333. If you are unable to attend this event, tribal members can schedule a free COVID test at a more convenient time at a One Community Health clinic in The Dalles or Hood River. To make an appointment, call (541) 386-6380.

North Central Public Health District is offering free flu vaccines to anyone who wants one in Wasco, Sherman and Gilliam counties. Call (541) 506-2600 to schedule an appointment. The health district office is located at 419 E. 7th St. in The Dalles.

Text ‘critfc’ to 47177 on a cell phone to get announcements for upcoming COVID testing events at select fishing access site. Fishery openings are also announced with this system.

Access Site Resources

Residents or users of in-lieu or treaty fishing access sites may contact the Fishing Site Maintenance Department crew (541) 980-2789 with requests for masks, hand sanitizer, soap cloths, and disinfecting spray (depending on availability). Contact CRITFC’s fisher support for assistance with food, clothing, and other wellness supplies at (971) 221-2546
Tribal members on the access sites can get food assistance, health care, and isolation/quarantine assistance. Contact One Community Health at (541) 386-6380 for more information.

Tribal COVID Resources

Tribal COVID information and resources pages:

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