Updated March 9, 2020
Senate Approved Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPI’s)
At their meeting on March 9, the Senate approved Resolution No. 2020-03-042, declaring a Public Emergency due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak nationally and here in Washington. According to national health officials at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) the question about the spread of the virus is “when and not if.” Because there is no vaccine for the virus and because the virus can be transmitted by individuals who have contracted the virus but do not show any symptoms for up to 14 days, the primary method for reducing the spread of the virus is to limit contact between individuals and utilize rigorous personal hygiene and sanitation measures.
Public Health Agencies have developed a list of 13 “non-pharmaceutical interventions” (NPI’s) that they recommend organizations use to limit the spread of the virus. The following precautions that are based on those recommendations were approved by the Senate today – these are mandatory:
- Handwashing. Regular use of handwashing and alcohol-based sanitizer throughout the day.
- Coughing. Cover your mouth when coughing by using a tissue or coughing into the corner of your elbow.
- Social Distancing. Make every effort to keep at least 6 feet or more distance from others
- Cleaning Common Touch Areas. Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces and “common touch” areas at work, home and other places frequently visited.
- When Sick. Stay home when you have a respiratory illness or other illness with cough, headache or fever. Directors and Supervisors shall send any employee who is ill or has symptoms of illness home until further notice.
- Exposure to COVID-19. Anyone who has been determined to have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, shall stay home for 14 days and monitor symptoms.
- No large indoor gatherings. Effective immediately all meetings or gatherings held indoors with more than 10 participants that are not essential to conducting tribal activities shall be cancelled or rescheduled for a later time.
- Elderly Employees. All employees over 60 should not come to work and should work at home if at all possible. Elderly employees should make arrangements with their immediate supervisor to determine what work they will be responsible for and how that work will be reviewed by their supervisor.
- Employees with Chronic Health Issues. All employees with underlying chronic health conditions should not come to work and should work at home if at all possible. Examples of chronic health conditions are: heart disease, diabetes, lung disease such as asthma, weakened immune system, cancer and pregnancy. If you are not sure if you have a chronic health condition, you should call the Swinomish Medical Clinic or contact your healthcare provider. Employees with chronic health issues should make arrangements with their immediate supervisor to determine what work they will be responsible for and how that work will be reviewed by their supervisor.
- Other Employees - Telecommuting. It is highly recommended that all employees that are able to work at home – even those who are not elderly or who do not have chronic health issues - make arrangements with their supervisor to work at home remotely by accessing their personal computers (PC’s) at work using the internet, communicating by email and phone and attending meetings using skype or other remote meeting software or services.
- Tribal Facilities. The Tribe is not closing any tribal facilities at this time. The gym, daycare and preschool will remain open for youth at this time. Future closures will be closely coordinated with La Conner School District closures. The focus for now is to limit the use of tribal facilities by non-tribal groups and organizations that may bring the virus to the Swinomish Community from outside communities. In order to protect Swinomish youth from contracting the virus and to prevent youth from bringing the virus home to their families, teachers and youth group leaders must require kids to wash their hands and use hand sanitizers repeatedly throughout each day.
- Non-essential travel. Effective immediately, all non-essential travel outside of the county is cancelled. This includes travel to the following conferences, workshops and other large gatherings:
- National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) - March 24 – 27 in San Diego, CA
- Indian Preference Law and Compliance Training - March 25-27 in Tempe, AZ
- Native American Finance Officers’ Association (NAFOA) Annual Conference – April 6-7 in Nashville, Tennessee
- Cannabis Conference – April 21-23 in Las Vegas, NV
- Self-Governance Conference – April 26-30 in Burlingame, CA
- Cultural Resource Summit – May 20-21 at Suquamish Clearwater Casino
- NCAI Mid-Year Conference – June 7-11 in Anchorage, Alaska
- Native American Economic Development Conference – June 15-16 Temecula CA
- 4th Annual Native Women’s Leadership Conference – June 17 in Temecula, CA
- Global Gaming Expo (G2E) – October 5-8, 2020 in Las Vegas, NV