By Puyallup Tribal News Staff
COVID-19 is on the rise in the United States, with hospitals around the country nearing capacity. The Puyallup Tribe of Indians wants to prepare for any situation that may arise.
“We are doing our best to try and help us get through this all together,” said Tribal Chairman Bill Sterud.
In a December letter to Membership, Tribal Council announced the purchase of the LUX apartments in Fife. Councilmembers recently toured the complex, which will serve as a place for isolation if a Tribal Member or Tribal staff member needs to quarantine away from their loved ones due to COVID-19.
The Lux site consists of 32 units, along with two retail spaces. Stays are limited to 14 days, and subject to availability.
“Food will be (available) for you if needed, or you can cook for yourself,” said Vice Chairwoman Sylvia Miller. “All units are furnished and equipped with the things you need to get you through the 14 days of quarantine.”
The Housing department has been temporarily assigned to assist with the placement and management of the units. The facility is for use by Puyallup Tribal members, Tribal employees at the Tribe’s entities who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or exposed firsthand to the virus, or if you have been instructed by a medical professional to temporarily isolate and have no other space to isolate as directed.
“It’s serious, it’s dangerous, we want to keep you safe and healthy,” said Councilmember Monica Miller.
This program was made available through the CARES Act, passed with a bipartisan majority, which provided $8 billion in financial assistance to tribal governments, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The Puyallup Tribe used portions of the funding provided for reimbursements to the Members, and health and safety upgrades at its entities. The Tribe has sent nearly $6 million in assistance to Tribal Members. Tribal household qualified for up to $4,000 per adult Member and $750 per minor Member on eligible COVID-19 expenses.
COVID-19 can be scary in itself, and the Tribe hopes that by offering this facility, it can help keep the community safe.
“It has been very difficult at times, but we have managed, and we look forward to continuing to walk out of COVID with you all,” said Councilmember Anna Bean.
This facility is meant for those with no to low level symptoms. If you are experience moderate to severe symptoms, please do not attempt to apply to this program; go directly to urgent care or the hospital. The health and safety of Tribal Members and staff are always the top priority.
“This pandemic has lasted far longer than anyone could ever anticipate, we have done a lot of work to make sure our community is safe and secure and to make sure we are able to provide a safe and healthy environment for each and every one of our members and our employees, who work so hard to take care of our community,” said Councilmember David Bean.
Puyallup Tribal Members and Tribal employees can apply to this program through Puyallup Tribe Housing by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Tribal Council has your best interest at heart; we want everyone to stay healthy,” said Councilmember Annette Bryan.
“We are going to learn from this; we’re going to be better prepared for the future,” added Councilmember Jim Rideout.