Press Release 

For immediate release:   April 4, 2020

Contact:   Carrie Sampson-Samuels, Public Information Officer – Public Health, (541) 240-8728

               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 today, COVID-19 has claimed four more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 26.


Oregon now has a total of 999 people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, after the Oregon Health Authority announced 100 new cases of the novel coronavirus. OHA is reporting new cases in the following counties: Benton (2), Clackamas (12), Columbia (2), Deschutes (3), Douglas (2), Jackson (6), Josephine (1), Klamath (1), Lane (3), Linn (3), Marion (10), Multnomah (34), Polk (2) and Washington (19).


As of 11:30am, 212 total test results have been reported in Umatilla County, 207 of which have returned negative. Umatilla County currently has 5 positive cases of COVID-19. 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 April 4, 2020 at 5:00pm are as follows:


  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that everyone wear a cloth face cover if they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. Cloth face covers should not be placed on children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. Cloth face covers are not a substitute for social distancing; continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others and only go out if necessary.


  • In the best interest of public health, Kayak Public Transit will cease operations for the week of Monday, April 6 – April 11, 2020. Kayak Public Transit will continue to monitor the situation and make a determination regarding the following week on or before April 10, 2020.
  • Arrowhead/Mission Market “roll over” cash advance program is suspended effective immediately due to ongoing and expected employee furlough throughout the CTUIR, Wildhorse Resort & Casino, Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center and Cayuse Technologies. At this time there is no date set that this service to return to active employees.
  • CTUIR DCFS will continue to take names and information for a possible future food distribution of fish OR game pending inventory of current stock, to add your name call 541-429-7300. They will continue to prioritize elders. Here are additional local options for those seeking food assistance:
    • St. Mary’s Outreach | Monday – Thursday 10AM – 4PM | 440 SW Emigrant Ave, Pendleton, OR 97801. Call to place order ahead of time, 541-276-2878
    • CAPECO’s offices remain temporarily closed to public access until further notice & will continue help clients access services via phone and online.
      • Pendleton Main Office 541-276-1926
      • Food Warehouse 541-276-5073
      • Effective Monday, April 6, 2020, CAPECO's operating hours will be:
        8 AM - 5 PM Monday - Thursday & 8 AM - 12 PM Friday
  • Salvation Army Pendleton (Lunch) | Monday – Saturday 11:30AM -12:30PM | 150 SE Emigrant, Pendleton, OR 97801


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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