Press Release


Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

46411 Timine Way, Pendleton, OR 97801

Phone: 541-276-3165    Fax: 541-276-3095


For immediate release:   April 6, 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 two more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 29.


Oregon now has a total of 1,132 people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, after the Oregon Health Authority announced 64 new cases of the novel coronavirus. OHA is reporting new cases in the following counties: Benton (2), Clackamas (6), Columbia (2), Curry (2), Deschutes (1), Douglas (1), Jackson (6), Josephine (3), Klamath (3), Lane (2), Linn (1), Marion (11), Multnomah (10), Polk (2), Umatilla (1) and Washington (12). OHA is also reporting that a case reported yesterday as a Yamhill County case was later determined to be a Washington County case due to updated residency information; this case is not reflected in the statewide total of new cases for today.


As of 12:30pm, 256 total test results have been reported in Umatilla County, 248 of which have returned negative. There are currently 8 positive cases of COVID-19 in Umatilla County. 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 6, 2020 at 5:00pm are as follows:


  • Yellowhawk is working daily to obtain additional supplies and access to laboratories to increase capacity for COVID-19 testing. Currently, testing for COVID-19 will be prioritized for the following groups:
    • Patients experiencing symptoms of fever, lower respiratory illness and who have tested negative for flu.
    • Patients who are close contacts of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have developed clinical symptoms of COVID-19 while under monitoring.
    • Healthcare workers, including EMS, who have been exposed to individuals who have COVID-19.

These criteria are expected to change as testing capacity increases

  • 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.
    • For detailed instructions on how to make cloth face mask, you can 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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