Give Thanks, Not COVID

Be a hero this holiday season, so we can all celebrate together in the seasons to come.
Suquamish Tribe Chairman Leonard Forsman, Treasurer Robin L.W. Sigo, and Councilman Sammy Mabe offer some words of encouragement as we head into this holiday season.

Education Resources and Help Available

Suquamish Tribe Begins Preplanning COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

A newly formed preplanning group from the Suquamish Tribe’s Emergency Operations Center gathered online this week to begin early preparations for vaccination distribution to Tribal members and staff in the coming months.

Dubbed the COVID-19 Vaccine Planning Subcommittee, the task group consists of Suquamish Tribe Acting Co-Director Jamie Gooby, EOC Manager Cherrie May, Community Health Nurse Barbara Hoffman, Tribal Attorney Melody Allen, Marion Forsman-Boushie Early Learning Center School Nurse Renee Hommel, EOC Public Information Officer Jon Anderson, and Emergency Management Consultant Eric Quitslund.

The first meeting of the planning group focused on reviewing the Tribe’s Pandemic Response Plan, getting an overview of medical countermeasures, and beginning the work of assessing vaccination priority groups.

“At this point, there are still a lot of unknowns in terms when the first vaccine will be approved, when – and in what quantities – it will be available, and how it will need to be controlled and administered,” said May. “So, this first meeting was really centered on what kind of questions we need to be asking and what potential scenarios we need to be thinking through.”

Also of paramount concern is vaccine safety.

“We will be listening to and consulting with the medical and scientific experts we know and trust,” said Gooby. “That will play a big role in which vaccine Tribal Council ultimately opts to make available and when Tribal government decides to deploy it.”

Currently, there are 11 vaccines now in the final “Phase 3” level of testing, including four underway in the United States. Phase 3 testing for each potential vaccine involves some 30,000 volunteers, who take either the candidate vaccine or a placebo, across dozens of sites around the country.

Vaccines work by training your body’s natural defenses to recognize and fight off viruses.  “If the body is exposed to those disease-causing germs later, the body is immediately ready to destroy them, preventing illness,” according to the World Health Organization.

New rules from the Food and Drug Administration issued on Oct. 6, suggest the earliest the first COVID-19 vaccine might be approved for emergency use is mid to late November, with large-scale availability ramping up over several months after approval.

CKA and other local schools to start school year online

The Chief Kitsap Academy School Board told parents it would begin the upcoming school year with all classes completely online.
The decision comes as other schools in the area – including the Bainbridge Island, North Kitsap and Central Kitsap school districts – have all announced similar plans.
The announcement comes in the wake of a July 27 determination by the Kitsap Public Health District that it was not safe “to open schools for traditional classroom learning in August or September” amidst rising rates of COVID-19 infections throughout the county and state.
In a letter to parents July 28, CKA Principal Lucy Dafoe said the school would hold a series of meetings for students and parents leading into the new school year, which starts Sept. 2.
“There will be an online Educational Forum moderated by Robin L.W. Sigo. We will have grade-level student and parent orientations. We hope to schedule the meetings in-person, socially distanced and held outside,” wrote Dafoe. “We will also have an online orientation if you do not feel comfortable attending in person. We want to make sure everyone has good information as we start distance learning.”
Dafoe encouraged parents to reach out with any questions or concerns.
“We will get more information out to you soon. In the meantime, please turn in enrollment applications so that we have accurate student counts,” said Dafoe.
For those still considering school options for the coming year, CKA – a 6th- through-12th grade school, which led the region in providing online education as the pandemic started – is still accepting applications for new students for the coming term.

Updated: COVID-19 Housing Relief Application

NOTE: This should not be confused with the Suquamish Tribe’s COVID-19 Financial Assistance, which you can apply for here.  The following is for relief of housing costs only. If you have already applied for either program, you do not need to reapply.

The Suquamish Tribal Council is aware of the financial hardship and uncertainty our membership is facing during this COVID-19 pandemic. We have met to discuss ways in which we can help alleviate the financial stress our membership is currently facing. One way to relieve some financial stress is to assist our tribal tenants who are unsure how they will make their upcoming housing payments.

The COVID-19 Housing Relief Application is designed for tenants who reside in Suquamish Tribal Housings, including Elder Housings, NAHASDA Housings, Suquamish Steps Program, and Mutual Help Homeownership programs affected by COVID-19 “Stay at Home” order.  Residents may be eligible for payment deferment for their housing payment from May 2020 to December 2020 due to financial hardship.

Deferment of housing payment is not payment forgiveness. A repayment plan will be created at a later date.

COVID-19 Housing Relief Application does not apply to residents that only pay water fee or sewer fee to the Suquamish Housing Program.

You can download the application here or fill out the online form below.


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Suquamish Tribe’s Toolkit for Businesses

In response to the Suquamish Tribal Council’s facial covering policy (Resolution # 2020-104) and overall COVID–19 response, the Suquamish Tribe’s Emergency Operations Center would like to assist our Port Madison Indian Reservation businesses during this global public health emergency.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the social and economic vitality of our local community. But we can lessen these impacts and recover from this public health pandemic when business owners like yourself take steps to reduce your risk and take steps now to recover. Working collaboratively with employees, the public, and local government, businesses can help strengthen both public health and community response in a manner that protects us all.

To support this effort, the Suquamish Tribe’s Office of Emergency Management has compiled this tool kit of resources with links to useful tools that are drawn from the following authoritative sources:

Suquamish Tribal Government

Main Website

Face masks now required in public spaces on Reservation

Downloadable PDF of this tool kit


Kitsap Health District               

Main Website

The Role of Employers in Effective Contact Tracing

Kitsap County COVID-19 Risk Assessment Dashboard


Kitsap County

Main Website

Kitsap County Pathway to Recovery Playbook


Washington State Department of Health

Main Website

Business Information for Administrators and Employees

Food Workers and Establishments Guidance on COVID-19

Guidance for Daily COVID-19 Screening of Staff and Visitors

Checklist for Businesses with Suspected or Confirmed Cases of COVID-19

Guidelines for Grocery Stores

Guidelines for Grocery and Food Stores

Guidelines for Restaurants

Food Pantries Phase 2 Guidelines

Food Worker Employee Health & Decision Strategies

Safe Cleaning and Disinfection Guidance for Public Space


After You Are Done with Work

Be a Germ Buster. . .Wash Your Hands

Keep Them Clean

COVID-19 – General Information

COVID-19 Symptoms Poster


Washington State Coronavirus Response

Main Website

Safe Start: Business Guidance, County Status and What’s Open

Overview of COVID-19 Statewide Face Covering Requirements

FAQ for Businesses

Workplace safety guidance

Department of Labor Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19


Please wear a mask

Retail stores: general

“What does six feet look like?”

“We offer delivery”

“We offer pickup”

Product Limit sign 

Customer Capacity Limit sign 

Help keep Grocery store staff and customers safe

Workplace Safety

COVID-19 Phases 1 and 2 Workplace Safety and Health Requirements

Janitorial Safety Tip Sheet


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)     

Main Website

Resuming Business TOOLKIT

Considerations for Restaurants and Bars

Planning Guides & Checklists

Get Your Workplace Ready for Pandemic Flu

Get Your Mass Gatherings Ready for Pandemic Flu

Pandemic Flu Checklist: Workplace Administrators

Pandemic Flu Checklist: Event Planners


Slow the Spread of Germs

Don’t Spread Germs at Work (Employers)

Don’t Spread Germs at Work

Stay Home if You’re Sick (Employers)

Stay Home if You’re Sick


Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Main website

COVID-19 Best Practice Information: Economic Recovery

FEMA Recovery & Economic Support

Public Assistance Disaster-Specific Guidance – COVID-19 Declarations

Face masks now required in public spaces on Reservation

The Suquamish Tribal Council approved a new resolution requiring a face covering in all public spaces on Port Madison Indian Reservation where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
This applies to areas including, but not limited to:
• Inside any Tribal-owned buildings, including any Tribal business, that are open to the public.
• Inside all other businesses open to the public.
• In healthcare settings, including Human Services Department, Wellness Department, and Health Benefits.
• While in or on a Tribal Government-owned boat with more than one occupant.
• While operating a Tribal Government-owned vehicle with more than one person.
• In outdoor public areas, including Tribal-owned and/or operated parks, trails, streets, sidewalks, lines for entry, exit, or service, and recreation areas, when a distance of at least six feet cannot be maintained from any non-household member.
This policy does not apply to children under five years old, although children two- to four-years-old are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings in public when they are unable to maintain a six-foot distance from non-household members. Anyone with a medical or mental health condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a mask is also exempt.
Face covering are not required in your own home, and – provided you can maintain a six-foot distance from others – while seated at a restaurant, while engaged in indoor or outdoor exercise activities, while in outdoor areas, among a few other specific exemptions.

Online Forum: Covid Q&A

In this online townhall, Suquamish Tribe Treasurer Robin Little Wing Sigo hosts a special Q&A forum with the Tribe’s community health nurse Barbara Hoffman and Dr. Lisa Pratt, from the Wellness Center.



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