Elders Facility Deep Cleaned and Closed to Visitors Until Further Notice as COVID-19 Safety Precaution

Dear Tribal Community,

A resident of the House of Respect and two Tribal employees tested positive for COVID-19 this week.

One of the employees works for Tribal Law Enforcement. The Law Enforcement building was deep cleaned, and contact tracing is underway.   

The other employee works for House of Respect Residence, 3014 Duct Cho Road, Tacoma, which was deep cleaned on Thursday morning and will remain closed until further notice. 

The Elders department has been in contact with the employees and individuals who had contact with the staff member. As a safety precaution, all employees and residents underwent rapid testing, and remain in quarantine. At that point, it was discovered that an Elder who lives at the care facility was also positive for the virus.

All of our Elder residents and their emergency contacts have been notified. More testing is scheduled for Wednesday as an additional precaution.

The protection of our Elders is our utmost priority. The House of Respect Residence staff have effectively implemented infection control policies and procedures since opening in October 2018. The Elders department takes precautions and follows the health guidelines recommended by the Tribe’s medical director, Dr. Alan Shelton, for health care personnel, which includes daily temperature screenings, safe social distancing and strict hygiene procedures. The Elder’s building undergoes regular deep-cleanings. Additionally, the building’s air ventilation system has been modified so that air in an individual’s room will not affect air elsewhere in the facility.

Tribal Administration’s usual protocol for when an employee tests positive is to close the employee’s primary work site and conduct a deep cleaning. We cannot fully close the residence, so the following actions were taken:

  • Employees who work in the House of Respect building are being notified of possible exposure and encouraged to take appropriate steps. 
  • The House of Respect building will be closed to visitors until further notice.
  • An additional deep-cleaning was scheduled and completed on Thursday morning.

The Tribe has taken numerous measures to ensure the safety of our employees during the coronavirus outbreak, including encouraging teleworking for positions that allow, implementing social distancing, installing Plexiglas barriers, remodeling building entries, and conducting regular cleaning and disinfection of buildings.

You can learn more about steps you can take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 on our website: http://puyallup-tribe.com/COVID19/covid.php.

You can also find a list of mobile testing clinics on Pierce County Emergency Management’s website: https://www.piercecountywa.gov/6758/Covid-19-Mobile-Testing.

Stay well. Stay safe.

–Puyallup Tribal Administration