Public health emergency ends on the Umatilla Indian Reservation

By on Friday, October 15th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

MISSION – The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation has ended its COVID-19 public health emergency. The indoor mask mandate still stands.

The CTUIR Board of Trustees approved the resolution today (Friday). It dissolves the current Incident Command Team that had been formed to address the outbreak of cases through late September. It also revokes the order that restricted gathering sizes and implemented capacity limits at facilities on the reservation. Officially, the emergency ends at 4 this afternoon.

Daily positive cases among the population served by Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center hit a high of 26 cases in one day on Sept. 23, the highest daily total since the pandemic began. By Sept. 28, there were a total of 98 active cases among the Yellowhawk service population, another high. The emergency was declared on Sept. 24.

On Oct. 14, Yellowhawk reported only one new case of COVID-19, and the cumulative total of active cases dropped to 26.

CTUIR cautions that although the emergency is ending, there remains an elevated risk of spread of COVIDE-19, and good health and safety practices like physical distancing and thorough, frequent hand washing are still critical. Management of the tribe’s entities, including Yellowhawk, Wildhorse Resort & Casino, and Cayuse Holdings, is now responsible for issuing safety standards for each facility.

In addition the Board of Trustees order on mandatory mask use remains in effect for all public indoor settings on the reservation until further notice.