Tribal Government & News
Clinic reports first new positive COVID-19 case
By Danielle Frost
Smoke Signals staff writer
The Grand Ronde Health & Wellness Center reported its first new positive COVID-19 case on Wednesday, Aug. 5.
So far, there have been five positive tests out of 402 total, but the first four were re-tests of positive results from another county.
“Since the Tribe has increased its testing capacity, we are testing local individuals as well as individuals from outside the area,” Tribal Communications Director Sara Thompson said. “Today’s announcement was made because this latest positive is a new case of COVID-19.”
None of the five individuals with positive results live within the Grand Ronde community. Thompson declined to provide any further details, citing privacy restrictions.
An announcement was made on the official Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Facebook page Wednesday afternoon.
“While we can’t share a lot because of HIPAA, we can share that the individual does not live in the Grand Ronde community and was exposed to COVID-19 through a family member residing in their home,” the post stated. “The individual is following CDC guidelines for isolation and monitoring symptoms for additional medical intervention if necessary. The Tribe is communicating with the patient to make sure they get the assistance that they need, conducting contact tracing and working with our partners at the state and county.”
Since the Tribal government re-opened in mid-May, all Tribal employees have been undergoing daily temperature screenings before reporting to work and are required to wear face masks in all common areas in Tribal buildings. All Spirit Mountain Casino employees have been required to wear face masks and have had daily temperature checks since the casino re-opened on June 1 after a 74-day closure.
“We have believed that it wasn’t a matter of if COVID-19 made an appearance, but when. Please remember to wash your hands, wear face masks and maintain social distance to prevent exposure and stop the spread,” the post stated.
For more information regarding the Tribe’s coronavirus pandemic response, visit www.grandronde.org/covid-19-information/.