Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19; Tribal Elders’ Residences Closed to Visitors Until the End of the Month

Dear Tribal Community,

Tribal Administration has learned that a person who works in the Puyallup Tribe House of Respect Residence, 3014 Duct Cho Road, Tacoma, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Today the Department received notification of a positive test.  The Department Director has been in contact with the employee and all individuals the employee had contact with at work. Employees who may have been exposed will undergo self-quarantine procedures. 

Our 19 Elder Residents and their emergency contacts have been notified. 

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 Departments takes precautions and follows the health guidelines recommended by Dr. Shelton for health care personnel, which includes daily temperature screenings, safe social distancing and strict hygiene procedures.

Elders underwent proactive testing procedures for COVID-19 on July 13. No one tested positive. Recently the House of Respect proactively (no Elders or staff were symptomatic) tested staff as well as the regular visitors to Elders living in the Residence and all tested negative.

Throughout the pandemic we have prepared for this possibility. Our protocol when an employee tests positive is to close the employee’s primary work site and conduct a deep cleaning. In this situation, we are unable to fully close the building. However, we are taking the following actions:

  • 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 the end of the month.
  • The building will be deep-cleaned on Wednesday evening. The Elders building is deep-cleaned regularly.

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.

Puyallup Tribal Health Authority has partnered with Pierce County to offer drive-thru COVID-19 screenings from 9:30 a.m.to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, July 24, at Chief Leschi Schools. The testing is free to the Tribal community. 

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

Stay well. Stay safe.

-Puyallup Tribal Administration