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Lincoln County Public Information Weekly Update
Lincoln County Now Distributing Masks for Businesses
Lincoln County has masks available if you need face coverings for your workforce, their family members and the clients, customers you serve.
For more information and to fill out an application, visit the link below.
New Oregon Employment Department (OED) Informational Website Launched
The new website can be viewed here: https://unemployment.oregon.gov/
COVID Cases Press Release | 6/12/2020
The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians has experienced two positive test results for COVID-19 through Siletz Community Health Clinic (SCHC). These individuals are between the age of 20 – 30, and are isolating per CDC Guidance. An Investigator from Lincoln County Health Department will conduct the initial investigation into source of contact. Staff at SCHC have been trained in contact tracing, and will assist the Investigator in identifying and notifying other individuals who may have been in contact with these individuals to provide them with instructions on next steps.
It is important to understand that this virus is in the community. It is vitally important to stay home as much as possible, physically distance, wear a face covering to protect others when unable to physically distance, and wash hands and sanitize surfaces frequently.
More information can be found at: https://www.co.lincoln.or.us/hhs/page/2019-novel-coronavirus; – OR – through the Call Center at (541) 265-0621, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open weekdays from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. You will be asked to leave a call back number and we will return your call within 15 minutes. This is to allow volunteers to work remotely. Your call back may come from a “private number”.
What to Do Next (Eng & Spanish) – If you have close contact with someone with a confirmed case, someone who may have it, if you develop symptoms, or if you get a negative result after quarantining.
Cancelations & Notices
Siletz Community Members
This is a friendly reminder that due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, all outdoor recreational areas in Siletz are closed.
This includes playgrounds, basketball courts, parks and other community spaces.
Please continue to practice social distancing for your safety and the safety of our community. Thank you.
Regarding In-Person Cancelations
- The November 6th General Council Meeting will be held via Zoom. More information can be found in the Member Area.
- Our in-person Restoration Celebration scheduled to be held on November 20th has been canceled. You can participate online via our 2021 Restoration Celebration Facebook group!
The safety of our Community, Students, and Staff are a top priority for us. Therefore, we are moving forward with providing services in a manner that will keep you and staff safe. Beginning March 17th, 2020, until further notice, services will be provided via telephone, email and mail; Offices will be closed to walk-in clients. Payments can be made by telephone with a credit/debit card; by mail via a check or money order. There is a drop box at the rear of the Tribal Administration building to drop off payments, applications, etc. For information about services at the Siletz Community Health Clinic, vaccines, and COVID testing please visit the SCHC COVID-19 Information page for the latest updates.
Our staff is working very hard to continue providing critical services to our community members. As this situation develops, we will continue to update this message.
To access these services, please call:
- Siletz Community Health Clinic: (541) 444-1030
- Siletz Tribal Housing: (541) 444-8322. Payments can be mailed or put in the Drop Box
- 477-SSP: (541)-444-8247
- USDA Food Program: (541)-444-8393
- Human Resources: (541)-444-8274
- Indian Child Welfare (ICW): (541)-444-8272
- Natural Resources: (541) 444-8232
- Enrollment: (541)-444-8258
- Elders: (541)-444-8220
- Eugene Area Office – Phone- (541)-484-4234
- Portland Area Office -Phone-(503)-238-1512
- Salem Area Office -Phone-(503)-390-9494
For accurate, up to date information about COVID-19 please dial 211.
View the #StayHome PSA made by the Siletz Community.
Resources for Families During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Tribal & Community Members
Below are links to access government assistance programs and information on resources during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.
- COVID-19 Resource List – https://www.benefits.gov/help/faq/Coronavirus-resources
- Social Security Benefits – https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/
- Oregon DHS Resources – https://www.oregon.gov/DHS/COVID-19/Pages/Home.aspx
- Federal USDA Assistance – https://www.rd.usda.gov/coronavirus
- Benefit Finder – https://www.benefits.gov/benefit-finder
- Food Access and COVID-19 – https://oregonhunger.org/covid-19/
- 211 Resources – https://www.211.org/get-help/help-during-covid-19-pandemic
We will continue to monitor and share information that is beneficial to our tribal and community members as it becomes available.
DHS will continue to work with federal partners to provide greater assistance to Oregonians in need. To apply for Nutrition Assistance, visit needfood.oregon.gov or call 2-1-1.
State Resource Hub
Visit the Safe and Strong website to find a variety of resources in Oregon.
The Legislature has allocated over $40 million to help individuals who are struggling to pay rent due to the financial impact of COVID-19. Funds are distributed by local community action partners (CAP). You can learn more about eligibility by calling 211 or visiting www.caporegon.org/find-services/ to find the nearest CAP.
Your local CAP may also be able to help. Please see: www.caporegon.org/find-services/. Many utility companies are waiving late fees, suspending disconnections, and making payment plans available. Please see https://www.oregon.gov/puc/Documents/OregonEnergyAssistance.pdf for information about what your specific gas, electricity, internet, or telephone company may offer.
The Oregon Legislature has released $30 million in mortgage assistance. If you need or anticipate needing mortgage assistance, please sign up for Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) updates at https://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/about-us/Pages/news-updates.aspx. You can also contact OHCS at (503) 986-2000. You may also be eligible for foreclosure protection through September 30th under legislation passed by the Oregon Legislature.
Dial 2-1-1 or visit 211info.org for additional information about COVID-19 test sites, eviction and foreclosure prevention information, how to access free food services, and more.
The CARES Act funded COVID-19 Emergency Rent, Mortgage, and Energy Relief Assistance programs have ended. For low-income households, mortgage, rent, and energy assistance will still be available through the STHD. Please visit the Housing page for more information.
Emergency Rental Assistance Program
The COVID-19 pandemic poses an immediate and imminent threat to the health, safety, and well-being of the Tribe. The purpose of the ERA Program is to provide emergency rental assistance for the payment of rents and utilities, and arrearages for the same, for low-income Tribal households who have disproportionately suffered from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. To participate in the ERA Program, an Applicant must first submit a complete, written Application on the forms provided by STHD. Visit the Emergency Rental Assistance Program page for more information and to get an application.
Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) Pilot Program
The Siletz Tribal Housing Department is pleased to announce the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) Pilot Program. The purpose of the HAF Pilot Program is to mitigate financial hardships associated with the coronavirus pandemic by providing funds to prevent homeowner mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services and displacements of homeowners experiencing financial hardship after January 21, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visit the HAF Pilot Program page for more information and an application.
COVID-19 Childcare Assistance
View the Childcare page under the Education section for information about childcare assistance.
CTSI Childcare Assistance Program Stabilization Grant Application
The CTSI Childcare Assistance Program has funds available under the Coronavirus Relief and Response Act (CRRSA) and the American Rescue Plan Act(ARPA) to support Child Care Providers who face challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to stabilize the child care sector in a way that rebuilds a stronger childcare system that supports the developmental and learning needs of children, meets parent’s needs and preferences with equal access to high-quality child care, and supports a professionalized workforce that is fairly and appropriately compensated for the essential skilled work that they do.
Purpose: To increase vaccinated tribal members and staff, CTSI is providing a $200 cash payment to tribal members (all ages) and CTSI staff and CTSI entities staff (IAD, STGC, STBC and Tenas Illahee) to complete their covid-19 vaccine series.
Covid 19- Vaccine – Must Complete Vaccine Series to qualify for incentive by December 15, 2021. More information and an application can be found here: SCHC COVID-19 Information – Vaccine Promotion
PGE COVID-19 Bill Assistance
PGE is offering support to their customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes:
- Allowing requests for more time to pay; and
- Options to change billing due dates; and
- Payment plan options; and
- Energy assistance to qualified individuals.
Updates to Come
For Small Business Owners and the Self-Employed
The federal government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to aid families and small businesses during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Watch this video to learn more about how the CARES Act can help you as a small business owner or if you’re self-employed.
Staying Active During Quarantine
FitnessOnDemand is available for Tribal member use, so you can stay active while social distancing. View this flyer to learn more about the program and who to contact to access this service.
The FCC’s Lifeline Program
Individuals who have recently become eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Medicaid are also eligible for the FCC’s Lifeline program. Visit this link for more information.
Legal Aid Benefits Hotline Available for Tribal Members
Legal Aid Services of Oregon and the Oregon Law Center, civil legal service provides for low-income Oregonians operate a Public Benefits Hotline, where low-income Oregonians can talk to lawyers and paralegals for advice on public benefits including Unemployment Benefits.
Hours of operation are limited Monday – Thursday. More information about legal aid can be found at Oregon Law Help.
OREGON PUBLIC BENEFITS HOTLINE: 1(800) 520-5292
For those trying to contact the Oregon Employment Department, email is the best way as phone call wait times are averaging over 100 minutes. Anyone with claim status questions should reach out to OED_COVID19_info@oregon.gov.
If you were denied a claim because you said you were not looking for work at this time, the department has made a fix for that. Continue to file weekly claims. If you were denied because you were self-employed or a 1099 contract worker, please visit the PUC links below.
For Tribal Members Having Trouble Contacting OED
If you are having trouble getting through to OED regarding their unemployment insurance claims, please contact both David (David.K.GERSTENFELD@oregon.gov) and Teresa Rainey (Teresa.L.RAINEY@oregon.gov) at the department. They will get you routed to the right place to get those claims resolved. If possible, when you contact David and Teresa please include the following information, which will help OED troubleshoot the issue:
- Your full name
- Customer ID (CID) number if you have it (the format is XX.XXX-XXX-XXX)
- If you do not have or know your CID, then your address and last four digits of your social security number
- Good telephone contact number
- A brief description of what the issue seems to be is useful
Emergency Hotel Program
“CHANCE has secured some funding from CSC for motel sheltering for medically fragile homeless individuals during this pandemic. Providers working with the client should be making the referrals to CHANCE 541-791-3411 (follow prompts for locations Albany, Corvallis, Lebanon, Lincoln City, and Newport) or email@example.com. Homeless clients should NOT call CHANCE directly. If they do, CHANCE will advise them to get a referral from a health care provider or homeless advocate. CSC will not take referrals from anyone for these motels—CHANCE is the point of contact.”
Please read the Emergency Hotel Program for more information and eligibility requirements.
Mental Health Services
If you are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, anxiety or depression and need to speak with someone or learn what you can do to combat these feelings, use one of the resources below:
- For Emotional Distress assistance, not related to suicidality, please call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “Talkwithus” to 66746.
- The Oregon Behavioral Health Support Line is a free and confidential resource for all Oregonians who are looking for emotional support. Call 1-800-923-HELP (4357). You do not need to be in a mental health crisis to call this line.
- OHA Crisis Services by County
- For concerns with suicide, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
- Text “TALK” to 741741 to connect with the Crisis Textline
- For Two Spirit LGBTQ+ crises call The Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386, or text START to 678678, or check out www.TheTrevorProject.org
- County Crisis Lines or 2-11 in some areas
- We R Native www.wernative.org
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Emotional Wellbeing During the COVID-19 Outbreak webpage: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/current-events/supporting-your-emotional-well-being-during-the-covid-19-outbreak/
Information for Employees About Recent COVID-19 Policy Change
The Siletz Tribal Council adopted a vaccination for COVID 19 policy for our employees. If you have questions about the vaccinations; you should consult with your health care provider. Also, information on the vaccinations is available on the Lincoln County Public Health Department webpage: www.co.lincoln.or.us and the CDC: www.cdc.gov.
HIPAA Related Questions
- As an employer, the Tribe can ask an employee to provide proof that they have been vaccinated so that they are not subject to weekly testing- that is not a HIPAA violation. Vaccination information is classed as PHI and is covered by the HIPAA Rules. However, HIPAA only applies to HIPAA-covered entities – healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses – and their business associates. The Tribe as your employer is not a HIPAA covered entity. It is also not a HIPPA violation to ask for proof of vaccination.
- HIPAA was created primarily to modernize the flow of healthcare information, stipulate how personally identifiable information maintained by the healthcare and healthcare insurance industries should be protected from fraud and theft, and address limitations on healthcare insurance coverage. Personal details such as whether or not an individual has been vaccinated against COVID-19 comes within the “provision of care” classification of health information that should be protected when it can be combined with other personal details (i.e., name, social security number, etc.) that can identify the individual. Protected health information is commonly referred to as PHI.
- The HIPAA Privacy Rule limits uses and disclosures of individuals’ PHI to uses and disclosures required for treatment, payment, or healthcare operations. Other uses and disclosures generally require consent to be provided by the individual in writing. However, HIPAA only applies to certain organizations and businesses.
Testing & Vaccine Information
- Testing and vaccinations can be done for free at the Siletz Community Health Clinic. To schedule for this, call Marci Muschamp at 541-444-1030.
- Walgreen Pharmacies provide free, drive-through testing. Directions can be found at the following website: https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing?ban=covid_vanity_testing
- Due to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, cost share for COVID-19 testing and test-related visits are waived. This began Feb. 4, 2020, and as of right now, is extended through DOS October 17, 2021. However, it could and most likely will be extended again.
- Test and vaccine locations and resources: https://govstatus.egov.com/or-oha-covid-19-testing
- Samaritan Health testing and vaccine information: https://www.samhealth.org/health-services/coronavirus-information/covid-testing-near-me-corvallis-albany-lebanon-newport
Did You Know: The FDA has approved the first COVID-19 vaccine: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-covid-19-vaccine
Vaccine Policy Update
On November 17th, 2021, the Tribal Council enacted changes to the Vaccine Policy that will effect Tribal employees. The new policy applies to all entities of the Tribe (see attached). The big changes are as follows:
- All employees must receive either the one dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine or the first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine by December 6, 2021 and the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine by January 4, 2021.
- The only exception will be for employees who have an approved medical exemption. The medical exemption will only be granted if confirmed in writing by a licensed Medical Provider that the person has a life-threatening allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the approved vaccinations.
- The option to get tested weekly instead of getting vaccinated no longer exists except for those who receive a medical exemption as described above.
Thank you for continuing to work together to keep everyone safe.