Our team was formed on March 17, 2020, in response to the Chairman’s declaration for the State of Emergency on March 4, 2020. We were the first Tribe in the nation to have made this declaration and the first to have it ratified (March 5, 2020). Chairman Nelson has identified Mr. Amos Pole Office Of Emergency Services Chief/Director as the Incident Commander for this emergency.

The team’s purpose is to ensure the health and safety of the Hoopa Valley Tribe and its residents. In our case, that is to use all resources available to help stop the COVID-19 virus from getting into the valley and to create a plan in the event it does.

Currently, Humboldt County has had two confirmed cases of COVID-19 with one having recovered and a second that is still active. Hoopa has fortunately not had a positive case as of the time we are writing the article.

That being said, the virus continues to spread throughout the country very quickly. Our team is acting fast in order to secure the resources needed in the event this issue becomes worse.

We are the only tribe in California to have submitted for resources to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). We hope that this will give us an edge when resources and funding becomes available.

We have made and received an order to get 4 pallets of water and are currently in the process of ordering meat and shelf-stable items in the event that the Hoopa Grocery Store does not have the capacity to meet the valley’s needs.

We have declared an Order on March 19, 2020, to Shelter in Place. This action was taken in response to working with outside health organizations and other emergency agencies to help slow the spread of the virus. We will be putting digital signs at each end of the valley to inform outsiders that we are currently under and active order to shelter in place.

There is no medication or vaccination available for this virus so we need to do our part and practice social distancing. It will give health professionals the time and resources necessary to help us through this pandemic. Social distancing is not fun because that means we need to distance ourselves from family and friends that are outside our own family unit. 

We are a tight community within our family units and that makes it hard to tell our children and ourselves that we cannot go visit their cousins, aunties, uncles, parents, and grandparents. This is the measure we must take to protect our community as a whole.

If you need to check on loved ones please do but take caution and be safe.

We do not have the manpower to ensure 100% compliance with this order so that means it is up to you to comply and keep us all safe. Keep in mind that travel outside the reservation needs to comply with Governor Newsoms Order to Stay in Home.

Communication

Amos Pole has assigned Matthew Douglas as the Public Information Officer (PIO) for this emergency.

We want to avoid false rumors and have the facts readily available to everyone. 

To accomplish we have been posting to the Hoopa Valley Tribal Office of Emergency Services Facebook page (@HoopaOES). Then sharing that post on other Facebook pages. We have also been sharing our information with the Two Rivers Tribune and KIDE.

We understand not all people have Facebook so we have started a website that can be found at HoopaOES.org. With this site, we wanted to have the status of not only this situation but how it affects the businesses and departments in our valley.

For those that do not operate digitally, we started a voicemail and text message hotline at (530)625-8100. You may ask your questions here. We may not respond directly but we will use your questions to help guide our future announcements.

If we have a confirmed positive case in the valley, the website and hotline will be updated immediately to stop false rumors from occurring and causing panic.

Conclusion
We are working hard to ensure the safety and well being of the Hoopa Valley Tribe.

With the planning, we do the truth is the best tool we have to ensure our safety is you. By adhering to the order we have put in place you help slow the virus from spreading. This is true in all of our hands, so wash them regularly.