Update: Elders Facility to Undergo Second Day of Deep Cleaning After Another Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19

Dear Tribal Community,

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

The department has been in contact with the employee and all individuals the employee had contact with at work. The employee worked Monday through Friday last week, and Monday through part of today. The employee does not provide direct care to Elders.

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 and staff 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. After learning of a positive case on earlier this week, all staff were offered rapid testing on Thursday at Puyallup Tribal Health Authority. On Thursday afternoon, the employee learned of the positive result; the employee has not shown symptoms of COVID-19. To date, 42 staff and 19 Elders 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 was deep-cleaned on Thursday evening. The Elders building is deep-cleaned regularly. It was deep-cleaned on Wednesday evening, as well.

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.

Drive-thru COVID-19 screenings from 9:30 a.m.to 3:30 p.m. today –  Friday, July 24 – at Chief Leschi Schools. The testing is free to the Tribal community, and by appointment only. Learn more on the Puyallup Tribal Health Authority website: https://www.eptha.com/covid-19-testing-this-friday/

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

Stay well. Stay safe.

-Puyallup Tribal Administration