A message from Puyallup Tribal Council
The Puyallup Tribe of Indians supports Gov. Jay Inslee’s actions to close schools in three counties that have been affected by the coronavirus COVID-19. We appreciate his leadership and efforts to protect public health.
Please read our latest announcement. March 16, 2020
March 13, 2020
We will close Chief Leschi Schools and Grandview Early Learning Center effective Monday, March 16. As of now, we plan for both to reopen on Friday, April 24. However, the coronavirus situation is fluid. Tribal Council will update our community regularly of any changes.
“This is an effective public health social distancing method,” said PTHA’s Dr. Alan Shelton of the school closures. “We know winter and spring breaks tamp down on flu.”
Council also has extended travel restrictions and canceled Tribal Administration’s gatherings, such as cultural activities, through April 24. Little Wild Wolves Youth Center also is closed.
The Tribe is working closely with the Puyallup Tribal Health Authority and Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department in the decisions that affect its operations in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. This includes sanitation of its schools and workplaces and high touch areas, and encouragement of social distancing.
We understand school closures raise many questions and have implications including school meals, graduation, and other factors. We are working with school officials on plans to address a range of impacts, and we will be in communication with Chief Leschi Schools and Grandview Early Learning Center as we work through these issues.
Our response to the COVID-19 crisis began weeks ago and included the cancellation of travel and public events, precautions at the Elders facility and updates to our Tribal community. We are committed to keeping you informed during this emergency and will provide you with up-to-date and accurate information.
The coronavirus situation is fluid and changing frequently. Tribal members and employees are encouraged to watch for updates on the Tribe’s website:www.puyalluptribe-nsn.gov.
We are a strong community and appreciate your support.
Following Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement on March 11 of new restrictions on large public gatherings, the Emerald Queen Casino, a Tribal Entity, put into place new measures such as postponing concerts, encouraging social distancing among customers and watching for customers who appear to be ill. This is in addition to additional cleaning and other steps that have already been implemented.
In early March, Tribal Administration postponed or canceled all social and cultural gatherings, including Elders luncheons, prayer circles and cultural classes through March 31. Government also canceled travel for employees.
If you have questions about a specific event, please contact the department that organized it or the appropriate entity. For event details, please refer to the website calendar.
The House of Respect Residence has placed restrictions on who can visit Elders. Until April 2, there will be no visitors entering the community. If you have a question, please feel free to contact Russ Hanscom, RN, MHA at 253-302-9523.
Our dedicated staff have been strongly encouraging Elders in the Residence to remain at home. This self-quarantine is completely voluntary and meant to protect our Elders’ safety. If an Elder does decide to leave the community, appropriate screening will be conducted upon their return.
Additionally, all Elders Care employees are being screened at the beginning of each shift for body temperature to rule out fever and respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath, new or changes in cough, or sore throat. Additional environmental cleaning also is taking place.
The House of Respect community lunch program will continue by providing take-out sack lunches until April 2.
Tribal Administration is taking extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of our employees. Meetings of more than 10 people are discouraged, employees who are sick are told to stay home, and other sensible measures to ensure safety are being encouraged. Employees are advised to direct their questions to the director/manager, Human Resources or Administration.
Help prevent the spread of illness
Health officials are urging people to take extra precautions to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Here are some tips from the Puyallup Tribal Health Authority:
- It is important to continue to wash hands with soap and hot water for 20 seconds; use hand sanitizer and sanitize your work areas often; use proper cough/sneeze protocols by coughing or sneezing into a tissue, or if a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm;
- Don’t shake hands or fist bump; use an elbow bump, or greet with a smile or a nod;
- Practice social distancing – try to keep at least a 6-foot distance between yourself and others. Also, stay away from large events such as sports, concerts, even movie theaters;
- Stay home if you are sick and call your supervisor to them know;
- If you are sick, don’t go to the doctor’s office, clinic or emergency room without calling first.
- Don’t meet in a group; consider holding meetings by conference call.
Health and safety information
Get your information from reliable sources:
The Washington State Department of Health has set up a call center to answer questions and assembled resources on this website: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has additional resources: https://www.tpchd.org/healthy-people/human-coronavirus
The federal Centers for Disease Control has prevention tips and more https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html