For immediate release:   May 20, 2020

Contact:   Carrie Sampson-Samuels, Public Information Officer – Public Health, (541) 969-1111

               Jiselle Halfmoon, Public Information Officer – Tribal Governance, (541) 969-4801


CTUIR Incident Command Status Update


Mission, OR – 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.


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 8:00am, COVID-19 has claimed four additional lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 144.


Oregon now has 3,801 cases of COVID-19 including 100 presumptive cases and 3,701 confirmed cases. Presumptive cases are people who have not tested positive but have COVID-19-like symptoms and have had close contact with a confirmed case, while confirmed cases have been diagnosed through laboratory testing. OHA is reporting 65 new confirmed cases and 10 new presumptive cases in the following counties: Benton (1), Clatsop (4), Deschutes (9), Josephine (2), Lane (1), Linn (1), Marion (24), Multnomah (13), Polk (1), Umatilla (4), Washington (14), and Yamhill (1).


Umatilla County Public Health is reporting one new presumptive case today, bringing the total number of reported COVID-19 cases in Umatilla County to 106, including 103 confirmed cases and 3 presumptive cases. To date, 1432 total test results have been reported in Umatilla County, 1329 of which have returned negative. There are no reported cases on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.


It is expected that the virus is more widespread in the community than the case counts indicate. As such, as testing becomes more widely available, the number of positive cases in Oregon will continue to rise.


Current CTUIR guidelines/updates as of May 20, 2020 at 5:00pm are as follows:


  • The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board shared COVID-19 testing data from Oregon, Washington, and Idaho tribes that indicate roughly 10% of tests performed are returning positive for COVID-19. Please remember that there continues to be a risk when traveling to other NW Tribal communities or when visitors travel to CTUIR.
  • The CTUIR Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Food Distribution originally scheduled for tomorrow, has been postponed until Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 10:00am. Please share the information with Elders and others who may not have access to social media.
  • Nixyaawii Community School New Media Leadership class is collecting video clips and images of community members supporting the class of 2020 for a Senior tribute/graduation video. If you are attending the DCFS Food Distribution on Saturday, May 23, or are in the area and want to participate, dress your car up or wear Nixyaawii gear to be photographed. You can also create a 10-15 second rally video of support in landscape mode, a picture of you or your family in Golden Eagle Gear, or a picture of you holding a sign in support of a student and email to by Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Representation and support of surrounding 2020 graduating classmates (Pendleton, Weston-McEwen, Pilot Rock, etc.) is encouraged as well.
  • If you are an employee of CTUIR or one of its entities and will have childcare needs as you return to work, please fill out this survey: The CTUIR ICT has established an interdisciplinary team comprised of staff from Department of Children and Family Services, Education, Enrollment, Public Works and Yellowhawk to assess the childcare needs of employees as CTUIR reopens and employees begin returning to work. The survey will close on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 4:00pm.
  • Oregon Housing and Community Services has distributed $8.5 million to 18 local agencies to help tenants who have been affected by COVID-19 pay rent during the pandemic.
    • Gilliam, Morrow, Umatilla or Wheeler County residents should contact the Community Action Program of East Central Oregon (CAPECO) at 541-276-1926 or visit for information on the COVID-19 Rent Relief program and to fill out an application.
    • Baker, Grant, Union or Wallowa County residents should contact Community Connection of Northeast Oregon at 541-963-3186 or visit




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.



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