Tribe Strengthens COVID-19 Quarantine & Isolation Guidelines

NEW COVID-19 Quarantine & Isolation Guidelines

Effective, 12/23/21

The Suquamish Tribe has updated COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation guidelines in light of recent updates to CDC criteria, increased local positivity rates, and the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive, please contact your health care provider.

COVID Testing – Testing is closed during the Tribe’s Winter Break, through Jan. 3, 2022. Please click here for alternative testing sites.

Testing through Community Health staff will resume Jan. 4,  Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 12 noon without an appointment. Results are typically known within 48 hours. For more information, contact Community Health at 360-394-8469.

What to do while you Quarantine (When you are exposed but have no symptoms of COVID-19)

  1. Fully vaccinated/unvaccinated individuals exposed to a close contact event and who are asymptomatic (no symptoms), must quarantine for 14 days and should complete a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test 3-5 days following.
  2. Fully vaccinated/unvaccinated individuals who remain asymptomatic throughout the duration of their quarantine may leave quarantine on day seven (7) or later at the discretion of the local health jurisdiction, if they:
    • Have received a negative PCR test on day five (5) or later and remain symptom free;
    • Monitor for symptoms and wear a mask when within any indoor setting for the full 14 days;
    • Immediately self-isolate if symptoms develop and get tested with a PCR test;
    • They may leave quarantine on day 10 if no PCR test is performed.
  1. Continue to follow all travel, masking, and physical distancing recommendations. Residents of health care on congregate settings will follow agency policy.
  2. Fully vaccinated/unvaccinated individuals who become symptomatic, should complete a PCR test and immediately self-isolate following the onset of symptoms. Next steps will be determined based on the testing outcome.Fully vaccinated individuals who do not quarantine should wear a mask indoors and when in public spaces for 14 days following Close Contact exposure.

While in Quarantine

  • Monitor for symptoms, fever greater than 100.4° F, cough, shortness of breath, or other COVID-19 symptoms. CDC COVID-19 Self-Checker (Scroll ½ way down page)
  • If possible, stay away from people you live with, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.


After Quarantine

  • Monitor for symptoms for an additional 14 days following exposure.
  • If symptomatic, immediately self-isolate and contact your healthcare provider.


What to do while in Isolation (When you separate from others because you are infected and/or have symptoms of COVID-19)

Those in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. At home, anyone sick or infected should separate from others, stay in a specific “sick room” or area, and use a separate bathroom (if available).

  • Monitor for symptoms. If experiencing an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible.
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets.
  • Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
  • Wear a mask when around other people if able.

Reference: What to do if you are sick and How to notify your contacts.


Asymptomatic – Refers to an individual who is infected by the disease but does not display any of the clinical symptoms know to be associated with the disease.
Standard Terminology

Close Contact – Exposure occurs when someone has been within 6 feet of an individual infected with COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. Indirect contact without the combination of close proximity and duration does not constitute close contact exposure.

Fully Vaccinated – Defines an individual who has received their full regiment of vaccine dosages and is at least two weeks post completion of their final vaccination. Though booster vaccinations are not yet considered part of the full vaccination definition, boosters are strongly encouraged.

Infected – An individual who is sick with and/or has tested positive for COVID-19; they may or may not be symptomatic.

Isolation – To physically separate a person infected with COVID-19 from people not infected to prevent the spread of disease; a person need not be symptomatic to warrant isolation.

Quarantine – To separate and restrict the movement of persons who are not symptomatic but may have been exposed to a communicable disease, to prevent close contacts that will spread disease.


CEMP: Appendix I.2, Isolation & Quarantine Guidelines CDC Quarantine and Isolation Recommendations

Home COVID-19 test kits available to Suquamish Tribe members

COVID-19 home test kits are now available to Suquamish Tribal member households.

This QuickVue home test is authorized for nonprescription home use for individuals aged 2 years or older. The test can be used within 6-days of symptom onset. Or, for those without symptoms or other medical reasons to suspect COVID-19 infection, it can be used when tested twice over three days with at least 24 hours (and no more than 48 hours) between tests.

Kits may be picked up at Wellness, Tribal Child Welfare, Human Services, Chief Kitsap Academy, Early Learning Center, Suquamish Police Department, and through the Elders Program.

You can learn more about the home test kit here.

Meanwhile, Suquamish Tribe’s Community Health COVID-19 testing station is open M-F 8:30-12:00. This free drive-thru clinic is open to all Tribal members and their households, as well as Tribal government staff and enterprise employees.

The Community Health testing station will be closed during the government holiday beginning Dec. 24 and will reopen on Jan. 4.

During that time, testing is available at a variety of locations in the area, including those listed here.


Suquamish Tribe Elects Leaders to Tribal Council

The Suquamish Tribe voted on March 21 to fill five Tribal Council positions up for election this year at the Tribe’s annual General Council gathering.

The Council members re-elected are:

  • Chairman: Leonard Forsman
  • Position 1 Rich Purser
  • Position 2 Sammy Mabe
  • Position 3 Luther (Jay) Mills Jr.

The new member on the Council is Windy Anderson, elected as Secretary. Anderson is the General Manager of Suquamish Evergreen Corporation, the Tribe’s cannabis enterprise. The previous Secretary, Nigel Lawrence, chose not to run for re-election. His services on Tribal Council were acknowledged and appreciated by Tribal members during the General Council.

The Chairman and three at-large members who were re-elected, along with the new Tribal Council Secretary, join Vice-Chairman Wayne George and Treasurer Robin Little Wing Sigo, whose seats were not up for election this year.

The Suquamish Tribal Council is the governing body of the Suquamish Tribe, elected by Tribal citizens during their annual General Council meeting.

Tribal Council is composed of seven positions: Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and three at-large council members. Candidates elected to Tribal Council serve in three-year staggered terms.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year’s General Council was canceled to protect the health of Tribal members. The terms of the two positions that were up for election last year – Chairman and Secretary – were extended for an additional year. To retain the staggering, this year’s General Council meeting elected those two positions to two-year terms. These seats, along with the three at-large council member seats, brought the total number of positions on the ballot to five.

With the pandemic ongoing, this year’s General Council was held online. Hundreds of Tribal members participated in a full weekend of reports, resolutions, and discussions via Zoom. Voting was conducted in person via drive-thru balloting on March 21. There was also an option for walk-up voting.

With approximately 1,200 citizens, Suquamish Tribe is a federally recognized sovereign nation. The village of Suquamish and seat of the Suquamish Tribal Government are located on the Port Madison Indian Reservation, along the shores of the Puget Sound near Seattle. The election of Tribal Council members is one of the many ways Tribal citizens exercise their sovereignty as Tribal citizens.

Suquamish Remembers Chief Seattle


Every year, for as long as anyone can remember, the Suquamish Tribe — alongside friends and allies — has gathered in late August at the grave of Chief Seattle to remember their great ancestor and his many accomplishments.
This year, things must be done a little differently, but we can still gather together to remember. Please join Suquamish Elder Marilyn Wandrey in this special Chief Seattle celebration at his grave site in Suquamish.
Music credit:
Bearon’s Floor Song
Sacred Water Canoe Family
Composed by James Old Coyote

Suquamish Tribe files notice of intent to sue King County for ongoing sewage spills

‘The People of the Clear Salt Water’ say Puget Sound community deserves better

SUQUAMISH, WA – The Suquamish Tribe announced its intention to sue King County for repeatedly releasing untreated or improperly treated sewage into the Puget Sound.

In a letter dated July 21, 2020, the Tribe gives King County officials 60 days’ notice of the Tribe’s intent to file a lawsuit for the county’s ongoing violations of the Clean Water Act and its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.

According to public records, King County discharged hundreds of thousands of gallons of untreated or improperly treated sewage from the West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant, located on the shores of Seattle’s Discovery Park, into Puget Sound in 2018 and 2019. King County is also responsible for a number of NPDES permit violations, discharging effluent wastewater into Puget Sound between 2015 and 2020. These discharges occurred at the West Point Treatment Plant, as well as other treatment facilities, and Combined Sewer Outfalls, on the shores of Centennial Park on Elliot Bay in downtown Seattle, and near Alki Beach in West Seattle.

“The waters of Puget Sound and the entire Salish Sea are the Tribe’s most treasured resource. We are obliged to protect these waters, not only for ourselves but for all who rely on them for healthy seafood, recreation, and cultural practices,” said Suquamish Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman. “We acknowledge that King County has invested and will invest more to improve their wastewater treatment system, but the Suquamish Tribe and its members are frustrated by the ongoing sewage releases and King County’s other pollution violations in Puget Sound, which continue to harm marine water quality and the Tribe’s ability to exercise reserved treaty rights and engage in cultural activities.  We are running out of time and need swifter action.  We look forward to discussions with King County, through our long-standing government-to-government relationship, during this 60 day notice period.”

In the July 21 letter, the Suquamish Tribe notified King County that it is responsible for at least 11 significant illegal discharges of untreated sewage from the West Point Treatment plant into the Tribe’s treaty-protected fishing areas, with individual discharge events ranging from 50,000 gallons to 2.1 million gallons.

The Tribe also notified King County that between 2015 and 2020, it violated effluent wastewater discharge permit limits for pH and chlorine at the West Point Treatment Plant, as well as the Elliott West and Alki Combined Sewer Outfalls.

In 2013, King County entered into a Consent Decree with the State of Washington, and the Environmental Protection Agency to address serious and ongoing sewage discharges from its wastewater treatment facilities and combined sewer outfalls that were in violation of the Clean Water Act. Notwithstanding a series of enforcement actions against King County, Clean Water Act violations have continued, including major releases from the West Point Treatment Plant.

The Suquamish Tribe – known as “The People of the Clear Salt Water” in their Southern Lushootseed language – have fished and gathered shellfish in and near the Puget Sound since time immemorial. The waters of Elliott Bay and other waterways into which King County has been discharging untreated sewage make up much of the Tribe’s treaty-protected fishing and shellfish harvesting areas.

“This lawsuit is not just about how these dangerous spills affect the Suquamish Tribe,” said Chairman Forsman. “The entire Puget Sound community deserves clean water. The shellfish, the orca, and all sea life rely on clean water, and all of our children – and children’s children – deserve clean water.”

“This is why the Clean Water Act was created. It’s time for King County to increase their commitment to protecting our shared waters,” said Chairman Forsman.

A copy of the letter of intent is available here.

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.

Suquamish Shows Up

As protests sweep the U.S., Suquamish Tribal Council calls for justice for Stonechild Chiefstick and other victims of police violence

Suquamish Tribal Council members, elders, and youth joined hundreds who stood with signs reading “Black Lives Matter” and “Native Lives Matter” along Highway 305 in Poulsbo on June 2. Emotions were raw because of the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Manny Ellis, and others, and because here in Kitsap County, prosecutors recently announced there would be no charges against Officer Craig Keller, the Poulsbo police officer who shot and killed Stonechild Chiefstick on July 3, 2019.

The protest was peaceful, passionate, and well attended with many drivers honking in support.

But when three Tribal Elders left the protest and went to downtown Poulsbo to have a quiet dinner, they encountered two men carrying military assault rifles patrolling an empty Front Street. The contrast between the peaceful protest on Highway 305 and the intimidating armed presence in downtown Poulsbo was striking.

Calls to a Poulsbo city council member revealed that the Poulsbo police knew there were armed individuals at several locations in town, and that, with the exception of one conversation with one of them, the police chose to do nothing – not question them, nor ask for identification and their purpose in being on the street near the protest. There was no check for warrants or criminal records or for extremist affiliations or for statements advocating violence. It was a stunning contrast to the treatment of Stonechild Chiefstick, who walked alone in Poulsbo’s waterfront park on July 3, was reported to police for acting strangely, and then shot and killed by Officer Keller.

The Second Amendment does not trump the First Amendment right to free expression and assembly, nor is open carry allowed in Washington State when used to intimidate others or when it creates alarm for the safety of others (RCW 9.14.270).

A Long History of Racism

This experience with an armed patrol in Poulsbo was a first for these Elders, but it was not the first time members of our community have experienced hostility and racial profiling in Poulsbo and North Kitsap County. Community members and visitors with darker skin report being followed in stores, bullied in local schools, and subjected to hostile comments on the street. Traffic signs leading into the reservation were riddled with bullet holes until they were replaced just recently. Anti-Indian graffiti was a constant reminder of the hostility aimed at Native people growing up in North Kitsap.

While the forms of racism have changed over the decades, it has never fully ceased.

The killing of George Floyd has lifted the veil on the brutality experienced by Black people across the nation. But the only thing that is new is the widespread use of phone cameras to document the brutality. African Americans, Native Americans, and other people of color have been subjected to white supremacist violence since European settlers first arrived on these shores bringing people captured and enslaved in Africa.

When settlers first arrived in 1851, Chief Seattle and his people greeted them and helped them during their first difficult winters here on the Salish Sea. Chief Seattle believed his people could benefit from the inevitable arrival of the Americans by engaging in the increased trade and commerce created by the new economy. He and other tribal leaders envisioned success in a new society built on relationships of equality and mutual respect.

Those hopes were dashed when promises made in the treaties went unfulfilled, when lands were stolen from tribal peoples, when Native people were banned from the city of Seattle and longhouses burned, including Old Man House, home of Chief Seattle, here in Suquamish.

Many were killed, including Chief Leschi, leader of the Nisqually people, who was hanged by a citizen government in 1858.

Chief Seattle signed the Treaty of Point Elliott in 1855. The Treaty established the Port Madison Indian Reservation as our permanent home in exchange for the Tribe giving title to most of the Kitsap Peninsula to the U.S. government. But the federally appointed Indian agents sold much of our reserved land through the use of discriminatory federal laws. The U.S. military condemned 74 acres of our waterfront, inclusive of Old Man House, to build a military base. They never built the base, instead selling the land to a developer who subdivided into lots for vacation homes for visitors from Seattle.

Perhaps the most devastating of all was the taking of our children by force and coercion to attend distant boarding schools, where speaking our language or practicing our traditions was cruelly punished. This experience has created generational trauma that we are still addressing today.

Our ways of life are built on fishing, hunting, and gathering shellfish, and here, too, simply making a living required us to confront law enforcement and armed vigilantes attempting to prevent us from exercising our treaty rights. Tribal members were arrested, fired upon, and jailed for casting a net or digging shellfish on the beach. We have made progress since those days of conflict here in Kitsap County, as demonstrated by many of our elected leaders who recognize our Treaty rights and engage in government-to-government consultation and negotiations with us on a regular basis. Our hands go up to those elected officials. We have more work to do.

Black and Native Lives Matter

Like African-Americans, Native people have the highest rates of killing by police. So, as a group of us stood on Highway 305 last week, we were thinking about Black Lives lost and also Native Lives. We were thinking about George Floyd and also about Stonechild Chiefstick. We were thinking about Breonna Taylor, shot while she slept in her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky, and also about Suquamish Tribe descendant Jeanetta Riley, a mother of four, shot by police in 2014 in Sandpoint, Idaho, and about John T. Williams, a Nuu-chah-nulth woodcarver, shot by Seattle police in 2010. We were thinking about Manny Ellis, an African American man shot by police in Tacoma, and about Suquamish Tribal member Daniel Covarrubias, who reached for his cell phone and was shot by Tacoma police in 2015.

The brutality and inequities experienced by our people and by other communities of color divide and weaken our country.

We can do better. But real changes require more than “thoughts and prayers” for those killed and vague promises of reforms.

Real change means taking action to end the racial bias that infuses law enforcement at all levels in the United States and re-conceptualizing policing at a time when mental health challenges and domestic violence make up a large portion of the calls police are asked to respond to.

It means reforming school curriculum so the history of Native people, Black people, and other people of color is neither erased nor told only through the lens of European-Americans.

We call on all leaders – especially right here in North Kitsap — to embrace Chief Seattle’s vision that we live side-by-side, with equity, full participation, and rights for all the people of all the many cultures that make up our region.

— The Suquamish Tribal Council
Published in the Kitsap Sun

Suquamish Tribal Council Extends Limited Government Operations

For the health and safety of the Tribal community, Suquamish Tribal Council has extended temporary remote government operations until June 7, 2020.

A limited number of staff members are available to respond to urgent issues. They can be reached via telephone at the numbers below, or via email. Please call (360) 598-4334 for general questions.

You may also contact our response team by sending emails to: and check our Facebook page here. You can also check the COVID-19 Updates page on the official Suquamish Tribe website here.

The Suquamish Police Department

The Police Department lobby will be available to drop off child support payments, applications, housing payments, and other government-related paperwork. Staff and officers can also forward messages to other Tribal departments as needed.

Lobby Hours:
Mon-Fri – 8am to 4:30pm
Front Desk: (360) 598-4334
Emergency: call or text 911

Telework and On-call Services
Communications: (360) 394-7184/7102
Community Development: (360) 394-8415
Emergency Work Orders: (360) 900-7050
Emergency Utilities: (360) 710-3223
Elders Meals: (360) 394-8413
Health Benefits: (360) 394-8466
Human Resources: (360) 394-8409
Human Services: (360) 394-8465
IT Help Desk: (360) 394-8485
Finance: (360) 394-8430
Fisheries: (360) 394-8438
Tribal Child Welfare: (360) 394-8480
Tribal Court: (360) 394-8697

Wellness Center
Therapists are meeting with existing clients through phone/video sessions. A contact list of providers is available here.

Front desk: (360) 394-8558
Wellness Fax – (360) 598-1724
Emergency: call or text 911
Crises Hotline: (888) 910-0416