For immediate release:   May 22, 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 two additional lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 147.


Oregon now has 3,864 cases of COVID-19 including 94 presumptive cases and 3,770 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 45 new confirmed cases and 3 new presumptive cases in the following counties: Clackamas (5), Clatsop (2), Curry (1), Jackson (3), Linn (2), Malheur (4), Marion (8), Multnomah (11), Polk (1), Umatilla (1), and Washington (10).


The number of COVID-19 cases in Umatilla County remains unchanged from yesterday. The total number of reported COVID-19 cases in Umatilla County is 110, including 105 confirmed cases and 5 presumptive cases. To date, 1500 total COVID-19 tests results have been reported in Umatilla County, 1395 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 22, 2020 at 5:00pm are as follows:


As we head into Memorial Day weekend, the ICT would like to recognize and honor all those who have  fought and died to protect our freedoms. We encourage everyone to stay local this weekend and avoid crowded areas, including parks and trails. Families gathering to honor loved ones should work to protect themselves and others by continuing to follow all recommended practices for keeping one another healthy including keeping a distance of six feet from others, wearing a cloth face mask, and remaining vigilant about handwashing and using hand sanitizer.



  • The CTUIR ICT will allow for gatherings of up to 25, so long as social distancing is practiced among all attendees. When gathering, please:
    • Keep six feet between yourself and others not in your immediate household
    • Wear cloth face masks
    • Avoid contact with others not in your household, including hugs and handshaking
    • Hold gatherings outdoors, if possible, to allow for more space and airflow
    • The CTUIR Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Food Distribution will take place tomorrow, Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 10:00am.

Who: CTUIR Tribal members, other Federally-Recognized Tribal members or families that reside within the CTUIR boundaries

What: Food Distribution

When: Saturday, May 23rd, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

Where: Mission Gym/Community Center

Sponsor: CTUIR

  • Each family or community member must pick up their own food.
  • You must remain in your vehicle while picking up the food. Food will only be placed in vehicle trunks or pick-up beds. No exceptions.
  • Elders may send a representative to pick up food and sign for their household.
  • We are unable to hold food for individuals and families; it is first come, first serve.
  • If you have questions, please contact DCFS at 541-429-7300.
  • CTUIR Public Works will have a hand sanitizer refill station at the July Grounds during the food distribution. It is advised community members bring only 1 or 2 small to medium containers to be refilled so that supply can be shared with more community members in need. Public Works staff will also be handing out face masks at the refill station until supplies run out.
  • 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. Representation and support of surrounding 2020 graduating classmates (Pendleton, Weston-McEwen, Pilot Rock, etc.) is encouraged as well.
  • Wildhorse Resort and Casino has received approval from the CTUIR ICT to enter Tier II of its phased reopening plan. Starting tomorrow, Saturday, May 23, the Wildhorse Golf Course and Grill will allow for on-site consumption with social distancing measures in place. Hamley Steakhouse with on-site consumption and opening of the Western Store and Café will open on Tuesday, May 26.
  • Kayak Public Transit continues to formulate necessary preparations in order to resume transit services. Those preparations include modifications to buses, obtaining sufficient PPE for staff & riders, staff training and more. In the interest of public health, Kayak Public Transit will not operate during the week of May 25-30.
  • The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation government offices and Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center will be closed Monday May 25th, 2020 in recognition of Memorial Day.




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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