For immediate release:   May 15, 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, Oregon now has 3,541 cases of COVID-19 including 71 presumptive cases and 3,470 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 63 new confirmed cases and 1 new presumptive cases in the following counties: Baker (2), Benton (1), Clackamas (6), Deschutes (3), Douglas (1), Lincoln (1), Linn (2), Malheur (1), Marion (18), Multnomah (17), Polk (1), Umatilla (3), Union (1), Wallowa (1), and Washington (4). There were no new COVID-19 related deaths reported today.


There are currently 93 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2 presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Umatilla County. To date, 1295 total tests have been reported in Umatilla County, 1202 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 15, 2020 at 5:00pm are as follows:


  • In the best interest of public health, Kayak Public Transit will cease operations for the week of Monday, May 18 – May 23, 2020. Kayak will continue to monitor the situation and make a determination regarding the following week on or before May 22, 2020.
  • The Oregon Health Authority issued new guidance on masks and face coverings for business, transit, and the public.
    • Businesses, including grocery stores, gyms and fitness centers, pharmacies, personal service providers, retail stores, and restaurants and bars must provide and require employees, contractors, and volunteers to wear a mask, face shield, or face covering, unless an accommodation for people with disabilities or other exemption applies.
    • Transit agencies must require riders to wear face coverings and provider one for a rider that does not have one. An individual must wear a face covering when riding public transit unless the individual:
      • Is under two years of age.
      • Has a medical condition that makes it hard to breathe when wearing a face covering.
      • Has a disability that prevents the individual from wearing a face covering.
  • It is strongly recommended that individuals, including children between 2 and 12 years of age, wear a face covering at all times in settings like grocery stores or pharmacies, where it is likely that physical distancing of at least six feet from other individuals outside their family unit cannot be maintained, and vulnerable people must go. Face coverings for children should be worn with the assistance and close supervision of an adult. Face coverings should never be worn by children when sleeping.
  • A total of 113 tests were conducted at Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center as part of the initial phase of their COVID-19 surveillance study. General data results will be announced pending patient notification and/or in Monday’s update. For more information on the study, please go to


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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