Tribe welcomes New Year with COVID-19 Vaccinations

 

As the sun sets on 2020, the Suquamish Tribe begins COVID-19 vaccinations.

A small group of healthcare providers and support staff received their first doses this week. That sets the stage for mass vaccinations, starting with Tribal Elders, beginning on Monday, Jan. 4.

In this New Year’s Eve video, Interim Suquamish Tribe Co-Directors Scott Crowell and Jamie Gooby provide details on how vaccinations for the Tribe will unfold in the coming days and weeks as the Tribe looks forward to 2021.

Suquamish Tribe Holiday Hours

Tribal Government offices are now closed for the holidays

Offices are scheduled to reopen on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021 at 8am

Police Patrol Operations will remain active

Suquamish Police Department lobby will be closed to the public
from Dec. 24 – Jan. 3 and will not be accepting deliveries.

Emergency Contact: 9-1-1

 

 

The following offices remain on Emergency Standby through the closure:

 

Community Health Nursing Team

Will continue following any Tribal members or staff members in isolation or quarantine.

We will not be conducting Covid-19 testing. Click here for a list of confirmed sites that will be testing. Medical transportation will not be available.

Elders can call: Della Crowell at (360) 394-8417

 

Emergency Management

On standby to assist in any emergency incidents. Please contact:

Cherie May at (360) 394-8507 cmay@suuamish.nsn.us

Eric Quitslund at equislund@suquamish.nsn.us.

 

ʔiišədalʔtxʷ ʔə ti suq̓ʷabš (Family and Friends Center)

Emergency contact: Barb Santos, 360) 340-2338 or  bsantos@suquamish.nsn.us

 

Health Benefits

Emergency Contact: 360-394-8424

 

Human Services

Emergency Contact: (206) 920- 0748

 

Tribal Child Welfare

On-call rotation on standby throughout the closure for emergencies.

Emergency Contact (360) 394-8480

Note: This line is covered at all times. If no answer, please leave a voicemail and someone will return your call as soon as possible.

 

Suquamish Seafood Retail Store:

Dec. 23 – OPEN 9am- 5pm

Dec. 24 – OPEN 9am-2pm

Dec. 25- 27 – Closed

Dec. 31-Jan. 3 – OPEN 9am-5pm

 

Send comments, questions, or concerns to: Covid_Quesitons@suquamish.nsn.us

Suquamish Tribe COVID-19 Vaccine Survey

 

FOR SUQUAMISH TRIBAL MEMBERS AND THEIR FAMILIES ONLY

The Suquamish Tribal Council has opted to provide the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Tribal members who would like to receive it.

The purpose of this survey is to gauge how many people will be interested in getting the vaccine so that staff can be better prepared to distribute it.

There are only five brief questions and all responses are completely anonymous.

If you are certain others in your household won’t take the survey but you are reasonably sure of their answers, feel free to take the survey again for each person. Just click on the link you received and reanswer all the questions.

The Moderna vaccine requires two shots in order to receive full protection. The second shot must be given a month after the first. Both shots will be administered by Tribal staff on Port Madison Indian Reservation.

When both doses are taken, the Moderna vaccine provides 95 percent protection against COVID-19. Most side effects are a good sign that the vaccine is working as intended.

COVID-19 Vaccine Survey

  • * Cancer * COPD * Heart conditions * Immunocompromised * Kidney disease * Obesity * Pregnancy * Sickle cell disease * Smoking * Type 2 diabetes
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Suquamish Tribe COVID-19 Testing Site: Holiday Closure Schedule

The Tribal Government offices, and therefore the Tribal Covid-19 testing site, will be closed Dec. 18 – Jan. 3

We will resume testing on:

Monday, Jan. 4, 2021 from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm

 

The following list includes other testing sites that can be used.  We have called and verified the information, however, we recommend you call first.  Be sure you take your insurance cards.

  

Immediate Clinic Poulsbo

(360) 779-7011

COVID-19 testing center

Appointment required- schedule appointment online

Referral not required

Testing for all patients

Hours: 8am-8pm

 

Franciscan Medical Clinic- Bainbridge Island

COVID-19 testing center

Appointment required- call (206) 201-0488 to schedule

Referral not required

Testing for all patients

Hours:

M-F: 7am-6:30pm, Sa-Sun: 8am-4:30pm

Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Open until noon Christmas Eve

Open until 5pm New Year’s Eve

 

The Doctors Clinic Ridgetop East

(360) 782-3400

COVID-19 testing center

Appointment not required

Referral not required

Testing people with COVID symptoms or recent/probable exposure

Hours:

M-F: 9am-7pm, Sa-Sun: 9am-5pm

Closed Christmas

 

Harrison Belfair Urgent Care

(360) 277-2975

COVID-19 testing center

Appointment not required

Referral not required

Testing for all patients

Hours:

M-F: 7:30am-7:30pm, Sa-Sun 7:30am-7:30pm

Christmas: 9am-4pm

 

Kitsap County Community COVID testing sites:

Appointment required for Kitsap County community COVID testing. Register online here or by phone at (360) 728-2235.

 

Kitsap County Fairgrounds

1336  NW Fairgrounds Rd

Bremerton, WA

Center the grands by Gordon Field

Monday to Thursday 10am -3pm

360-728-2235

 

Kitsap Conference Center

Bremerton Harborside Parking Garage  level 2 green

100 Washington Ave

Bremerton
Tuesday only 10am to 3pm

360-758-2235

 

Poulsbo City Hall

200 Moe Street NE

Poulsbo

Friday only 9am to 2:30

360-728-2235

 

Suquamish Government Picks Moderna Vaccine for Distribution to Tribal Community

Tribe Now Entering Critical Period to Prevent Spread of Disease

The Suquamish Tribal Council, following the recommendation of the Tribe’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Barbara Hoffman, has decided to provide the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Tribal membership and staff as it becomes available.

The Moderna vaccine is expected to gain approval for emergency use from the Food and Drug Administration this week. While it remains unclear how quickly mass vaccinations will begin, Tribal officials expect the first small batches of doses to begin arriving shortly after the New Year with additional supplies increasing over the following weeks.

Tribal officials have prioritized vaccinations to Elders and those most at-risk from COVID-19, as well as continuity of government to ensure leaders and critical staff are able to keep distribution moving.

“We’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but that tunnel is still pretty long,” says EOC Manager Cherrie May. “It will still be several months before we can get everyone vaccinated.”

That’s why it is so important for everyone to continue staying focused on preventing the spread of the virus.

“Wear your masks, keep your distances, and please – please – don’t gather outside your immediate households. I know that will be hard during the holidays, but it is so important. We really can pull together right now, by staying apart.”

Kitsap County and the Suquamish Tribe, like much of the country, is seeing a surge in positive cases. The spike is largely attributed to extended families and friends gathering together for Thanksgiving.

“Let’s not make that same mistake here over Christmas and New Year’s,” says May. “The risk is too big. The consequences are too severe. The lives of our loved ones are at stake.”

 

Picking Moderna

Meanwhile, Tribal staff are hard at work preparing for vaccine distribution.

The Tribal Council had the choice of two vaccines — one offered by Pifzer and the other by Moderna.

“In close consultation with our medical experts, we determined the Moderna vaccine provided the best option for our community,” says Hoffman.

The vaccines are more similar than they are different, with the exception of how they are stored

The Moderna vaccine is about 95 percent effective. It requires two doses, about a month apart, to achieve that high level of effectiveness.  This is a new type of vaccine that helps people create virus-fighting antibodies without actually infecting them with COVID-19.

And, finally, some people will feel the same short-term, flu-like side effects from either vaccine. Health experts at FDA and CDC stress that most side effects are a sign that the vaccine is working as intended.

Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, which has more demanding frozen storage and distribution protocols, Moderna’s vaccine can be stored four degrees below zero, which is a standard freezer temperature. After it’s thawed, it can be administered for up to 30 days.

“The logistics of providing the vaccine to the entire Tribal community will be unprecedented for us,” says May. “A lot of work is going into planning and preparing for that, so getting the increased flexibility that Moderna gives us is huge.”

 

Side effects are a good sign

They may not feel like it at the time, but most side effects from the vaccine are a good thing, say health experts.

“They show the body is doing exactly what it’s supposed to be doing,” says Suquamish Tribe’s Public Health Officer Dr. Barbara Hoffman. “It shows that your immune system is working by creating the antibodies you need to fight off the disease.”

Potential side effects include pain or swelling at the injection site, muscle and joint aches, fever, nausea, and headache.

“The most common side effects noted in vaccine trials were pain and swelling at the injection site,” says Hoffman. “For most study participants, side effects were mild to moderate and subsided within one to three days.

But don’t worry if you don’t feel those side effects, she says. “It’s still working. The vast majority of those who get both doses – and it’s really important everyone gets both doses – will be protected.”

Suquamish Foundation Premieres Sovereign Style 2020 Video

Masks of Resilience and Protection

We proudly present the 5th annual #SovereignStyle. This year in a documentary film format so you and your family can enjoy safely.
I hope you are inspired and warmed by our incredible artists – Brandy Boure, Denita & Joey Holmes, Tessa Sayers, and Emma Noyes.
Please share this film. Support artists by purchasing their art at full price and crediting their work when sharing.
Documentary by Stefan Collins, of Nesquick Visuals, with Art Direction by Margeaux Lewis. Additional footage by Derrick LaMere, of War Pony Pictures.
And if that’s got you feeling nostalgic for the Sovereign Styles of years past, we got you! Check out this awesome retrospective here.
What’s that? Need more? Quench your Sovereign Style thirst with this music video slide show.

Pull Together

A message from Suquamish Tribal Elders on the importance of pulling together during this most dangerous hour of the pandemic by doing everything we can to stay safely apart.

 

Suquamish Tribe Prepares Groundwork for Vaccine Distribution

Phased approach puts priority on most vulnerable

A Suquamish Tribe team headed up by Emergency Operations Manager Cherrie May is hard at work preparing for an unprecedented effort to vaccinate everyone in the Tribe who wants to be protected from COVID-19.

While there are still many unknowns, the Suquamish Tribe’s Vaccine Planning Committee drafted a vaccine distribution approach that was approved by the Tribal Council at their Nov. 23 meeting.

“The goal is to have a general approach in place so that when the vaccine arrives we are ready to hit the ground running as fast, efficiently, and safely as possible,” said May. “We’ve developed a phased approach that puts the priority on our most vulnerable Tribal members while keeping the government functioning so we can get the vaccine out to everyone else.”

The Vaccination Planning Committee includes May, the Suquamish Tribe’s Acting Co-Executive Director Jamie Goobie, Tribal Public Health Officer Dr. Barbara Hoffman, Tribal Attorney Melody Allen, Suquamish Chief Police Mike Lasnier, Early Learning Center Nurse Renee Hommel, and Communications Coordinator Jon Anderson.

“The Committee is working with a lot of uncertainty tied to the vaccines, but we have been doing our best to think through a variety of intertwining issues,” says May.

Among the questions, unknowns, and issues the Tribe is grappling with:

  • Which of the two leading vaccines the Tribe will decide to provide.
  • How many doses of the vaccine will the Tribe get initially and in follow-up batches.
  • The logistics of receiving, storing, and administering two doses of a vaccine to thousands of Tribal members, families, and employees.

The Pfizer vaccine, for example, is expected to be the first released for use, but is shipped only in large batches of doses and it must be stored at -80 degrees. Once thawed it must be kept cold and administered within six hours.  It also will require two doses to be effective

“Whether the Tribe will be able to access to this vaccine and be able to administer it has not been ruled out yet as we are stilling waiting on some answers from the Department of Health to some of these very questions,” says Hoffman, who was appointed as Tribal Health Officer by Tribal Council last month.

The Moderna vaccine is next in line for potential distribution and will likely begin to be available starting in January.

This vaccine also requires two shots but is easier to store and provides more time to administer once thawed, says Hoffman.

“Regardless of which vaccine the Tribe first receives, we do not expect to get a large number of doses in the first batch.  We also don’t know how many doses will be provided over time for mass vaccination,” says Hoffman.

Given all the unknowns, vaccine distribution will happen in phases, and Suquamish health officials will need flexibility to accommodate the uncertainties, she says.

“The approach is based on two key priorities – continuity of government and health vulnerability of Tribal members,” says Hoffman.

The first group, which is likely to be a small group, includes individuals needed to make sure the Tribal government can continue to operate – Tribal Council, for example – and high-risk essential employees who are in constant, direct contact with members of the community, particularly those who are especially vulnerable.

“So that would include nurses, in-home care providers for Elders, community health representatives, case managers and others in the direct line of fire who have been who are at high risk of exposure to the virus every day,” says Tribal Attorney Allen. “These are people who provide care to our most vulnerable.”

The next group includes all Tribal elders, as well as moderate-risk, but essential workers.

That group will be immediately followed by all remaining Tribal members and member households.

The last group to receive vaccinations will be remaining Tribal Government staff and Tribal Enterprise workers.

“We are still working out the logistics while not knowing when and how many doses the Tribe will receive,” said May. ”As we’ve been doing all along, we are planning with flexibility to avoid any logistical and/or medical problems and so we are ready to hit the ground running as soon as the vaccine is released.”

Tribal leaders urge anyone with questions or concerns to email Covid_Questions@suquamish.nsn.us

As the situation develops and more details become available, Tribal members will be notified via the Tribe’s website and Suquamish Updates Now (SUN). If you haven’t signed up yet, or need to update your information, you can do that here.

Tribal Court Suspends Jury Trials

The Suquamish Tribal Court is suspending jury trials until further notice.

The move is in response to the widening outbreak of COVID-19 throughout the region.

“COVID-19 rates have increased dramatically in Kitsap County in the recent weeks,” reads the Dec. 1 order, signed by Chief Judge Cindy K. Smith. “After considering the Tribe’s current COVID-19 operational policy, (Non-Pharmaceutical Protection) procedures, and current information from both Kitsap County and Washington State Departments of Health, the Emergency Operations Center does not approve resuming jury trials at this time.”

The order indicates scheduling of jury trials will resume on Feb. 1.

Meanwhile, probation appointments will be conducted by phone, or as directed by the probation officer.

You can read the full order here.