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COVID-19 Resource Guide

for Columbia River Fishing Access Site Residents and Tribal Fishers

The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation is constantly changing. This page will be updated as new information, actions, and recommendations are released. Last update: Friday, January 22, 2021 at 12:00pm.

The CRITFC newsletter Meycúukwe (Morning News) now includes a daily collection of COVID-19 news articles focusing on the virus’ effect on tribes and fisheries. Click here to subscribe.

COVID-19 Vaccinations on the Columbia

I don’t want to catch COVID and I don’t want to accidentally spread it either. My elders taught me to protect myself and to protect others, and getting the vaccine will do both.
Rachelle Begay

Yakama

COVID-19 Vaccination Event

There will be a no-cost COVID vaccination event in Celilo Village on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 from 10:00am to 3:00pm.

Only 100 vaccines available for this event and will be for Priority Groups A & B which consists of Elders 55+, Ceremonial frontline and cultural treasures, Frontline workers, and those with underlying health conditions. (See full group descriptions below).

To pre-register and confirm a vaccination time slot, call (541) 256-4249.

Priority Group C: You can call to add your name to the list to be notified when your vaccine is available.

COVID-19 Vaccine

The tribes encourage all their adult members who can safely do so to be vaccinated. Every tribal member is precious. By being vaccinated, you are doing your part to not only protect youself, but also children and those who cannot be vaccinated due to pregnancy or health issues. Together we can protect our most precious resource: our tribal members and the culture we safeguard for the future.

Below are some frequently asked questions tribal members have asked about the vaccine and how to get it.

How Does the Vaccine Work?

The COVID vaccines work like all vaccines: they teach your body’s immune system how to recognize and defend against a disease without having to get infected with it. Then if you are exposed to the actual virus, your body already knows how to fight it off.

If enough people are immunized, they protect the whole community by making it unlikely for a virus to spread. This is called “herd immunity.” Scientists have a goal of getting 75-85% of the population vaccinated to reach herd immunity.

Is the COVID Vaccine Effective?

Yes, in fact it is more effective than the typical flu vaccine, but only after two doses. Typically the first dose gives about 50% protection against COVID. After a second dose 21 to 28 days after the first, the vaccine is more than 90% effective.

Are COVID Vaccines Safe?

The new COVID vaccines were developed quickly thanks to recent medical breakthoughs. In some of the largest vaccine trials in history, 73,000 people around the world volunteered to have the vaccines tested on them. These trials found the vaccines both safe and effective.

In the eight months that the trial has been going on, no serious safety concerns have been identified. The vaccine material degrades quickly in the body, so long-term effects are very unlikely.

As of January 15, more than 10 million Americans, including 75,000 Native Americans, have safely received the vaccine.

Have They Been Tested on Natives?

The vaccine trials included hundreds of Native volunteers, which allowed scientists to find out if the vaccine affected Natives differently than the general population. They found no differences in safety or effectiveness between Natives and non-Natives.

Reactions and Risks

The most common reactions to the vaccine include:

  • Soreness or pain at injection site
  • Tiredness
  • Headache or muscle ache

These common side effects are a sign that your body is working hard as it learns how to fight off the virus and usually only last a day or two. Plan on taking it easy and getting plenty of rest and fluids for a few days so your body can focus its energy.

Allergic reactions to the vaccine has been the most severe risk, but this is very rare. Out of the over 12 million doses already given in the US, there have only been 21 severe allergic reactions and all safely recovered. Fortunately if a severe reaction happens, it is shortly after the injection and can be treated with prompt medical care. As a precaution, everyone is monitored for 15-30 minutes before being cleared to go. If you have a history of vaccine reactions, be sure to notify the medical professional doing the vaccinations or talk to your doctor for guidance.

Tribal Vaccine Priority Groups​

As of January 19, people in groups A and B are currently receiving vaccinations.

Group A

Group A

Elders 55+

Group B

Ceremonial Frontline and Cultural Treasures

Longhouse leaders, singers, and food handlers; Traditional language speakers

Frontline Workers

Tribal employees working with the public directly: delivering meals, giving rides, community health and social support

Underlying Health Conditions

Anyone who is Immune-compromised, diabetic, obese, or has a health condition that increases COVID complication risk

Group C

Everyone Else

Everyone 18+ not in Groups A or B

When Can I Get the Vaccine?

With a high demand and limited vaccine doses, the tribes have exercised their sovereignty by setting their own vaccine priority categories that are different from the federal priority categories. (See graphic above.) The tribal priorities include a younger definition of elder, traditional leaders and workers at higher risk from carrying out ceremonial duties, and cultural treasures to ensure the protection of their unique widsom and knowledge.

Where Can I Get the Vaccine?

Tribal members and their families have several options to get the vaccine. IHS and tribal clinics will be giving shots on the reservations. Many community partners are working together to get vaccines to tribal members who live along the Columbia Gorge. Mobile vaccinations are being planned, however with the very limited quantities of vaccine, we are not able to announce upcoming dates at this time.

Call One Community Health at (541) 256-4249 to sign up for a vaccine appointment. Partner agencies including CRITFC, The Next Door, and One Community Health will begin sign ups for Native people at fishing access sites and other Gorge communities. By signing up, you will be contacted as vaccines in your priority group become available.

Before Your Vaccination

There isn’t anything you need to do to prepare yourself for vaccination, however some people who are nervous or anxious about being vaccinated or just want to get their body and mind in a good place beforehand might prepare by getting a good night’s rest, drinking plenty of water or a traditional tea that cleanses the body, or with prayer, songs, or a sweat if you have a personal sweatlodge (only alone or with members of your immediate household as sweatlodges do not reach a temperature that kills COVID and community lodges pose a spread risk).

Can I Go Back to Normal After?

The virus is still very widespread in the region and the vaccine doesn’t guarantee 100% immunity. Even after getting both doses of the vaccine, it’s best to be careful. It is recommended you continue to wear a mask when in public spaces and limit your exposure to groups of people outside your household.

More questions?

If you have more questions about the vaccine, getting vaccinated, or how to schedule your
appointment, contact One Community Health at (541) 256-4249.

You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:

WASH HANDS OFTEN

Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizer.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

Maintain a 3- to 6-foot distance when in contact with people outside of your household.

DON'T TOUCH YOUR FACE

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.

COVER MOUTH

Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

SELF-ISOLATE

Stay home, especially if you are in a high-risk group or if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

STAY INFORMED

Keep up to date on the latest COVID-19 information and hotspots (cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely). If possible, avoid traveling especially if you are an older person or have diabetes, heart or lung disease.

COVID-19

COVID Testing Events

CRITFC has partnered with One Community Health to provide COVID testing and other COVID-related health services along the Zone 6 corridor. Testing events for tribal members are held regularly and will be posted here as they are announced.

Stanley Rock Testing Event

One Community Health will be conducting a testing event for tribal members at the Stanley Rock Treaty Fishing Access site on Friday, September 4 from 9am to 1pm. Click here to pre-register online for the event to speed up processing. If you don’t have access to the internet, you may also call (541) 256-4345.

COVID-19 Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of COVID-19?

Content provided by the World Health Organization (WHO): The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

The CDC has a Frequently Asked Questions page here.

What Do I Do If I Suspect I Have COVID-19?

What Do I Do If I Suspect I Have COVID-19?

If you suspect you may have COVID-19, call your healthcare provider first for screening (or 911 if in the midst of a medical emergency). As testing ramps up, there may be emerging opportunities to drive to commercial labs or a testing location, but for now, a referral from a doctor or healthcare provider is required before getting access to a test.

Tribal and Regional Healthcare Providers

Covid-19 Testing

Hood River and The Dalles healthcare provider One Community Health is now offering drive-through COVID-19 tests for any Gorge resident regardless of symptoms, occupation, or insurance at no cost to you.

Complete the online request form or call or text them at 541.386.6380. They will schedule a 20-minute virtual visit with a provider to discuss your concerns and can order the COVID-19 test which takes about 5-10 minutes to complete at the drive-up clinics in Hood River and The Dalles. Results are typically back in 3-5 days.

They are also conducting on-site testing at various tribal fishing access sites. Details of upcoming testing events will be posted here and announced at the fishing access sites and via social media.

Tribal Healthcare Facilities

Umatilla

Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center
yellowhawk.org
(541) 966-9830
*Tribal member must have a history with the clinic. The clinic is currently working with a skeleton crew and cannot enroll new patients at this time.

Yakama

Yakama IHS Clinic
(509) 865-2101 (reception)
After-hours (after 5pm) Advice Line 1-866-470-2015

Nez Perce

Nimiipuu Health
nimiipuuhealth.org
(208) 843-2271 x2843
*Tribal members will be directed to the on-duty triage nurse to discuss symptoms and receive advice/recommendations

Warm Springs

Warm Springs IHS Clinic
COVID-19 Nurse Triage Hotline (541) 553-5512

 

Other Columbia Gorge Health Resources

For tribal members who have limited access to reservation-based medical resources can seek help from these local healthcare providers. Contact your tribe’s Indian Health Service facility for further information on contract health to these facilities.
(This is not a complete list):

Hood River County Community Health Providers

  • Columbia Gorge Family Medicine
    (541) 386-5070
  • One Community Health-Hood River
    (541) 386-6380

Wasco County Community Health Providers

  • One Community Health- The Dalles
    (541) 296-4610
  • MCMC Family Medicine
    (541) 296-9151

Klickitat County Community Health Providers

  • Northshore Medical Group – White Salmon
    (541) 493-2133
  • Klickitat Valley Health Family Medicine – Goldendale
    (509) 773-4017

Skamania County Community Health Providers

  • North Shore Medical Group – Stevenson
    (509) 427-4212

 

Stay-at-Home Orders and Resources

Tribal Stay at Home Orders

Tribal Stay at Home Resolutions

It may feel like an overreaction, but each one of us has an important role to play to help prevent COVID-19 from spreading. The most important thing we can do to help prevent COVID-19 from spreading, is to stay home, even if you don’t feel sick or think you are at risk. People can look completely normal and feel healthy, and unknowingly spread the virus to others. By staying home, you will protect those who are most vulnerable in our communities, including elders and those with asthma and diabetes.

As of Wednesday, August 5 2020, the Yakama Nation, Umatilla Tribe, and the Warm Springs Tribe have issued stay at home resolutions and the Nez Perce Tribe has issued a Stay Home Advisory. These orders allow travel for essentials including grocery stores, pharmacies, and healthcare providers. They allow the exercise of treaty-reserved hunting, fishing, and gathering activities for subsistence and ceremonial purposes as long as the activity maintains appropriate social distances of six feet or more between individuals.

The Yakama Nation order prohibits longhouse and church gatherings with the exception of funerals.

The Umatilla order also allows its tribal members to “go outside for outdoor recreational activities (walking, hiking, etc.) but must limit those activities to non-contact, and are prohibited from engaging in these activities if it is not possible to maintain appropriate social distances of six feet or more between individuals.

Tribal Elder Prescription Medication Delivery

CRITFC Enforcement will be conducting a pick-up and delivery of prescription medication effort for at-risk tribal members along the Columbia Rive Zone 6 corridor until the state or tribal stay at home orders have been lifted.

Eligibility

  • Tribal member age 60 or older or a medically vulnerable dependent, of any age, of a tribal caregiver.
  • Reside in a Columbia River Zone 6 corridor city, In-lieu Site, or Treaty Fishing Access Site.

How to participate

  1. Contact your pharmacy and order the prescription; be sure to ask pharmacy for a phone consultation from the Pharmacist as prescriptions cannot be released to officers if the patient has not had this Pharmacist consultation.
  2. Contact the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Enforcement Department between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 541-386-6363 and provide patient’s name, address, phone number, date of birth, the prescription being requested, and the name of the pharmacy to the Dispatcher.
  3. When it is ready, pre-pay the pharmacy for the prescription over the phone; the prescription CANNOT be picked up if it has not been paid for.
  4. Advise the pharmacy that the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Police Department will be picking up the prescription.
  5. Have a valid identification available when the officer arrives at the patient’s residence.

Advisement to Residents

In order for the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Police Department to effectively administer this program we are asking that only those who are known to be vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19 by being over 60 years of age or having a life threatening pre-existing medical condition utilize this service. Officers will always be in approved Columbia River Inter-Tribal Enforcement Department attire with identification and will utilize personal protective equipment and maintain social distancing for all deliveries. All medications will be delivered in sealed and obscured packaging to protect your privacy .

By providing the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Enforcement Department with personal and pharmaceutical information, you are voluntarily choosing to do so for the purpose of requesting the pick up and delivery service by the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Enforcement Department and have given your voluntary waiver of information in accordance with HIPAA regulations. Your medical privacy will be kept confidential.

Food and Groceries

Food and Groceries

With guidelines encouraging elders and other at-risk individuals to stay away from others as well as people being out of work, getting groceries can be difficult. If you are not an elder or at-risk, please keep those community members in mind by communicating with them and making sure they have sufficient food and medications.

Columbia Gorge Food Bank

The Columbia Gorge Food Bank has adapted its services to increase social distancing. Click here for the April 6-10 schedule for updated daily food assistance locations and times. Please note that all food assistance sites are taking increased measures to protect public health.

Hood River Farmers Market

The Hood River Farmers Market market will be open Saturdays from 9am – 1pm in the 5th & Columbia lot in downtown Hood River. The market is piloting a direct order system with produce from our Mobile Farmers Market. Produce bags will cost $30 and include:
Mixed greens*
Leek*
Broccoli*
Mizuna mustard*
Swiss chard*
Pears or apples
Fresh herb bunch*
*indicates Organic or non-certified Organic

. Order by 5pm on Friday. Produce can be picked up at the Hood River Farmers Market info booth on Saturday, April 11 or delivered by a volunteer. We’re asking our customers to not request delivery unless they really need it.

Elders Only Grocery Hours

The following Hood River-area grocery stores now have special hours where they are only open for seniors and at-risk customers including pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems

  • Rosauers (12th Street, Hood River Heights)
    Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 7am to 9am
  • Safeway (Columbia Street, Hood River
    Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 7am to 9am
  • Fred Meyer in the Dalles (1215 West 6th St, The Dalles)
    Fred Meyer offers online grocery shopping. They will prepare your order and have it ready pick up right in the parking lot for a $4.95 fee. Call (541) 296-1700 if you have questions. https://www.fredmeyer.com/stores/details/701/00372
  •  
Federal Coronavirus Stimulus Payment and Tribal Members

Contents of this document is provided by CRITFC for informational purposes only. It is subject to change, does not guarantee payment, and in no way constitutes tax advice.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was signed into law in March included an economic impact payment to every American with a Social Security number. Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment of $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples and $500 for each qualifying child. Income above this will receive a smaller payment using a formula.

Filing Status Potential Payment Reduced Payment if Income Over
Single, No Children $1,200 $75,000
Head of Household, 1 Child $1,700 $112,500
Head of Household, 2 Children $2,200 $112,500
Joint Filers, No Children $2,400 $150,000
Joint Filers, 1 Child $2,900 $150,000
Joint Filers, 2 Children $3,400 $150,000

More detailed information from the IRS available here:
https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know
https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center

This payment distribution will begin in mid-April and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some taxpayers who typically do not file returns will need to register to receive the economic impact payment.

Some tribal members are not required to file a tax return. Typically filing a tax return is not required if the individual’s only source of income is Social Security, their income is derived from treaty fisheries-related activities (IRS Section 7873 income info available here: https://www.irs.gov/government-entities/indian-tribal-governments/irc-section-7873-treaty-fishing-rights-related-income ), or if their annual income is below $12,200. Even if you don’t file taxes, you will be eligible to receive this payment, as long as you register.

Below are details and links to help tribal members in these situations register to receive their payment.

I didn’t file 2018 or 2019 taxes because my income was earned from treaty fisheries-related activities and therefore tax-exempt OR because my income was below $12,200 and therefore not required.

The Treasury Department has announced it is creating a website for those not required to file taxes to register to receive their payment, however this system has not been made available yet. Check back in a few weeks for that link. The tax filing company TurboTax has also partnered with the Treasury to create a free Stimulus Registration for non-tax filers to give the IRS your up-to-date mailing address and direct deposit banking information. Note: This also involves creating a free TurboTax account. Direct link to TurboTax registration: https://myturbotax.intuit.com/sign-up/?stimulus=true

 

I filed 2018 or 2019 taxes individually or with my spouse.

You are all set. The payment will be based off the information in your return. If you opted to receive your tax return by Direct Deposit, your payment will be electronically transferred to that account. If you opted to receive your tax return by check or if you didn’t enter a bank account because you owed money, a check will be mailed to you. Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail, but this website has not been made available yet.

 

My only income is from Social Security so I didn’t file taxes in 2018 or 2019.

You are all set. Social Security recipients won’t have to file a tax return to get their stimulus payment. Instead, it will go out automatically. The IRS will use the information Social Security already has on file to distribute the benefit.

Since the IRS would not have information regarding any dependents for these people, each person would receive $1,200 per person, without the additional amount for any dependents at this time.

 


Contents of this document is provided by CRITFC for informational purposes only. It was gathered from official IRS publications, subject to change, does not guarantee payment, and in no way constitutes tax advice.

COVID19 and Fisheries

The COVID19 pandemic has severely impacted seafood markets all over the world. With restaurants closed and export markets shut down, the demand (and market price) of fish has gone down significantly. Below are some links and resources to help answer questions commercial fishers might have, as well as extra precautions and steps to take to ensure the safety of your catch.

Below are links to resources. New sites will be added as they are made available:

Additional Resources

Downloadable Resources

CRITFC Public Affairs.

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