COVID-19 chart updated on September 15 at 4:14 p.m.
Submitted by RANDY’L TETON, PIO
Tribal Office of Emergency Management
FORT HALL — The Tribal Office of Emergency Management (TOEM) officially report a decrease of COVID-19 cases on the Fort Hall Reservation, bringing the total cases that have been impacted by COVID-19 to 236 cases (this number includes positives and recovered) since the pandemic started in early April. Of the 236 cases, 22 are currently positive and being monitored, 225 have recovered, 2 are currently hospitalized, and two (2) deaths.
Test results are compiled and reported by the Fort Hall Indian Health Clinic and Community Health Center (HRSA) every Tuesday of the week. The Fort Hall COVID-19 Chart data will vary daily based on number of testing results at each center. The attached chart shows the last four weeks of data to show the trends in positive and recovered cases on the reservation.
In a week there will be new posters/banners posted throughout the community and district centers and a commercial featuring our own people, music and language on the local tv stations.
The Emergency Management team urges the community to take precautions with the upcoming funerals taking place in the next few days. Please contact Safety Officer, Jim Cutler at 208-241-2184 to complete a Safety Plan to receive PPE supplies for the funeral.
If you are contacted by a ‘Contact Tracer’, the individual will be instructed to isolate and schedule a testing immediately. COVID symptoms include a fever (temperature 100.4 or higher), cough, shortness of breath, headache, muscle and body aches, sore throat, fatigue/extreme tiredness, GI symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea), and loss of taste and smell. Each of our Tribal health centers, including I.H.S, Tribal Health and HRSA have tribal contact tracers actively monitoring positive individuals.
For any health concerns, please call Fort Hall Indian Health Service (I.H.S) at (208) 238-5494 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or Community Health Center (HRSA) 208-478-3987. For tribal resources check out the Tribes COVID19 website at www.sbtribes.com and click on COVID19.
By ROSELYNN YAZZIE
FORT HALL — Fort Hall Business Council Chairman Devon Boyer called a special Facebook Live on Tuesday, September 15. He was unable to join due to a conference call, however, an update was still given on CARES Act funding allocation, the CARES Act Funding Small Business Grant, Home Rehabilitation and 477 Services Consumer Services CARES ACT supportive services.
Brent Cody, professional consultant to oversee allocation of CARES Act funding, said over the last week the Fort Hall Business Council has passed 13 resolutions associated with the CARES Act, modifying the allocations with that funding. He said they’re currently at $20 million of $21million that has been allocated.
Cody explained a few of the projects that could be implemented by the December 30 deadline, one included a greenhouse, another includes laying a fiber line, although both of those had to be scrapped and the funds had to be put back into the pot to be reallocated by council. The second was some budget modifications for infrastructure and water supply projects. Third, the council approved $50,000 to hep improve the sanitation and pest control for the district lodges. Next a $1,000,000 broadband project was put together, which is called Phase 1, of the Tribal Broadband Project, which has several components like bringing power to Lincoln Creek tower, another is repairing a tower in Bannock Creek, in addition they will be putting up two more 60 feet towers on the reservation to help spread coverage and increase reliability of the network. It also includes $300,000 of funding to help tribal members obtain broadband services. Council also increased the small business grants set aside and doubled the amount from $100,000 to $200,000. They also allocated $1,000,000 for COVID related home rehabilitation.
Whitney Burns budget mortgage counselor with the Tribal Housing Opportunities Program (THOP) and the CDFI, gave an update on the CARES ACT Small Business grant. In the first round they were able to assist 216 small businesses with the $100,000 in two weeks. They’re helping every tribal member, even those who don’t live in Fort Hall, as long as they’re enrolled.
They helped 77 beadworkers, followed by powwow specific vendors and those that sell baked goods and foods, ranch and cattle businesses, to name a few. Once the first round of funding was exhausted they had 20 more applicants, so they approached council and were approved more money. Burns encouraged small business owners to submit their one-page applications, which requires a business license, notarized affidavit, or a business plan and a budget. The applications are available in Building 82.
Shalynn Kellogg, THOP manager and CDFI program manager, spoke about the $1,000,000 allocation they received for Home Rehabilitation. She said they have the applications ready to go and requirements are a tribal identification, bid work quote, proof of damage, a complete W-9 for the vendor, requiring electrical, plumbing and HVAC must be done by license contractors, must identify how the rehab is related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which means it must be related to health, safety, and sanitary conditions preventing the COVID virus or assisting in getting the COVID virus taken care of. A two-page application must be completed and signed. The work must be done by December 14 due to the spending allocation required by the CARES Act. The priority preference is for elders, individuals with disabilities and anyone with chronic medical conditions. It’s first come, first serve for everyone else.
Consumer Service Program Manager, Dustin Davis, said he’s hoping all tribal members take advantage of the program. So far, they’ve received over 1,000 applications to be processed for the CARES Act supportive services. He said they are processing them as fast as they can, he estimated a two week turn around, however, due to the magnitude it may take longer.
The Fort Hall Trading Post is currently available to use vouchers along with T.P. Gas, after an application is turned in the applicant has to pick up the voucher at the Consumer Services office on Shoshone Drive in order to receive that. They are still waiting for gift cards for household items from Winco and Walmart.
Davis said they will need quotes for anything considered a bill, including firewood and will have to get it from a vendor. It is then the applicants responsibility to work out the logistics of getting it delivered to the home.
They’re still doing ventilation and clean up and tune up of the HVAC system.
He encouraged people to keep in touch with them on the status of their application. Call him at 208-478-3709 or Krissy Johnson at 478-3979.