Public Health Order Stay Home, Stay Healthy and Reopen Safely in Response to the Threat of Coronavirus Disease COVID-19
WHEREAS, the Lower Elwha Tribal Community, also known as the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe (“the Tribe”), is a federally recognized, self-governing Indian tribe in accordance with the Treaty of Point-No-Point of January 26, 1855, its Constitution and By-laws, approved by the Secretary of the Interior on April 29, 1968, and the Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934; and
WHEREAS, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribal Business Committee of the Lower Elwha Community Council is the constitutionally and duly elected representative body of the Tribe, and is responsible for ensuring the health, safety, education, welfare, social and economic development, law and order, judicial services, and housing of its tribal citizens; and to preserve and protect the culture, treaty rights, natural resources, and otherwise promoting the welfare and interests of its tribal citizens; and
WHEREAS, under Article IV, Section 1 of the Tribe’s Constitution, the Tribe has the authority to consult, negotiate, contract and conclude agreements with the federal, state and local governments, to manage the Tribe’s fiscal resources and the use of its property, and to take any and all actions necessary to promote the welfare and interests of the Tribe’s community and members; and
WHEREAS, COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness or death that is caused by a novel strain of the Coronavirus that can easily spread from person to person; and
WHEREAS, the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) continues to identify the potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 as “high,” and advises that person-to-person spread of COVID-19 will continue to occur on a global scale; and
WHEREAS, the COVID-19 disease has continued to broadly spread throughout Washington State, with at least 41,757 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 4,778 hospitalizations and 1,399 confirmed deaths as of July 12, 2020, compared to 24,642 confirmed cases, 3,930 hospitalizations and 1,190 confirmed deaths on June 11, 2020; and
WHEREAS, in Clallam County there is a current total of 61 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 compared to 29 positive cases on June 12, 2020; and
WHEREAS, in the past 7 days 3 persons living in the Lower Elwha Tribal Community have tested positive for COVID-19 and are being housed in a temporary isolation and quarantine facility, while the Tribe and the County cooperate on contact tracing and testing as necessary; and
WHEREAS, through prior declarations and resolutions the Tribe has recognized the Public Health Emergency due to the lethal and contagious Coronavirus COVID-19 disease and imposed a Stay Home—Stay Healthy Order (Resolution No. 42-20) on March 25, 2020, for the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, its members and the Lower Elwha Reservation and trust lands within the jurisdiction of the Tribe; and
WHEREAS, the Business Committee continues to recognize the seriousness of the impending threat of the highly contagious and lethal COVID-19 disease and desires to have in place a framework for the slow and safe reopening of Tribal Government offices and businesses through a carefully controlled phased approach based on available science and data that will allow the Tribal Community to stay healthy by not being overwhelmed with new cases of the disease, including the ability to pause reopening, step back reopening and return to a stay home and stay healthy order with only essential services when necessary to protect the Tribal Community; and
WHEREAS, the Business Committee desires to reinstate the Stay Home and Stay Healthy Order as the baseline to its reopening plan, to mandate the use of masks in public places, and to maintain the Tribal Community and its Government Offices in Phase 2 of the attached Tribal Reopening Plan.
THEREFORE BE IT NOW RESOLVED THAT, the Business Committee hereby further declares that a state of emergency continues to exist on the Lower Elwha Reservation and trust lands within the jurisdiction of the Tribe, and that in order to preserve and maintain the life, health, property and public peace of the Tribe and its members the prohibitions in Resolution No, 54-20 (attached) are restored to full effect and all expiration dates therein are extended until 11:59 PM on August 5, 2020, and that except as otherwise provided in this resolution, the State’s Phased Reopening Plan established by Governor Inslee’s Proclamations 20-25.3 and 20-25.4, the Tribe’s Phased Reopening Plan (attached), or any further specific phased reopening plan established by the Business Committee for its Tribal Government Offices or Tribal enterprises, all other provisions of Resolution No. 54-20 are in full force and effect, provided that the following non-essential activities are permitted under Reopening Phase 2 of this order and include being employed in or patronizing:
- Tribal businesses that are opened by order of the Business Committee;
- Tribal businesses that are opened by the governing body of another tribe; and
- Businesses under the jurisdiction of the State as permitted under the criteria defined and established by Governor Inslee’s Proclamations 20-25.3 and 20-25.4.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, to help preserve and maintain life, health, property or the public peace, until there is an effective vaccine, effective treatment or herd immunity, it is crucial to maintain some level of community interventions to suppress the spread of COVID-19 throughout all phases of reopening, therefore individuals should continue to engage in personal protective behaviors including:
- practice physical distancing by staying a minimum of six feet away from other people (who do not live in your home or dwelling place);
- wear cloth face coverings in public places when not eating or drinking;
- stay home when you are sick;
- avoid others who are sick to the greatest degree possible;
- wash your hands frequently;
- cover your coughs and sneezes;
- avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; and
- clean and disinfect surfaces and objects regularly.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, in addition to other requirements detailed in any applicable reopening plan, all elected officials, executive officers, and employees of the Tribal Government and Tribal enterprises, shall wear a cloth facial covering when on the job except when working alone or when the job has no in-person interaction and each department or business is required to provide cloth facial coverings to all employees, unless the exposure of the employee dictates a higher level of protections.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, violators of this order may be subject to criminal or civil penalties in accordance with Section 9.15.13 of the Criminal Code, for failure to comply with an Emergency Public Health Order, including a potential jail sentence of up to 180 days or a civil fine not to exceed $1,000 per offense.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, Resolution No. 64-20, dated June 15, 2020, is rescinded and is no longer of any force or effect.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED THAT, the Business Committee hereby authorizes and directs the Chairwoman, and the Vice-Chair in her absence, and the Tribe’s Executive Director to take any and all actions necessary to respond to the emergency presented by COVID-19, in coordination with the Incident Command Structure personnel, including the performance of contact tracing in coordination with Clallam County personnel, while safeguarding the protected health information of individuals in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), and further authorizes the Chief of Police to enforce violations of this order.
The foregoing resolution was presented at a duly called meeting of the Lower Elwha Kallam Business Committee held on the 15th day of July 2020, at which 5 members were present, constituting a quorum, and the Business Committee voted to adopt by a vote of 4 FOR, 0 AGAINST, and 0 ABSTENTATIONS.
Frances G. Charles, Tribal Chairwoman