Bishop Paiute Tribe outlines plan to reopen

Register Staff
Staff Writer

As the COVID-19 pandemic stabilizes, the Bishop Paiute Tribe has planned a measured and strategic approach to allow employees to return to work safely to prevent a resurgence of the virus, according to the tribe’s emergency management team.
The tribal agency stated Saturday that “this must be done in the most effective, efficient and risk-averse way possible to balance the return of governmental and economic stability, while simultaneously continuing to keep employees and tribal members safe by controlling the spread of the disease.”
The tribe’s re-opening plans currently are being crafted at the departmental, tribal and public levels, and will be announced as they are developed and finalized.
At this time, a “three -phase” approach is being considered, according to the tribal group. Phase one being the most restrictive but immediately implemented, phase two being a more relaxed but still very measured and vigilant response, and phase three being a return to regular operations with sensible baseline precautions to protect public health.
“We understand that we will be living with the virus until there is reliable treatment or prevention, which is many months off,” the tribe’s emergency management team stated. “Clear operational guidance will be provided to tribal governmental offices and businesses on how to reopen while ensuring the safety of both employees and customers. The level of guidance will gradually become less restrictive over time, as our confidence in the ability to monitor and contain the disease increases.”
As the Bishop Paiute Tribe’s offices reopen, the most important consideration will be the health and safety of employees. Departments must exercise caution throughout the reopening, ensuring strict adherence to protocols. Those departments that are not able to meet the rules will be advised to delay opening until they are able to.
The tribe also is considering the comfort of its employees as they return to work because they may be in a heightened state of concern.
“We feel it’s important to put into place thoughtful measures to ensure employees are well-positioned to transition back to work with minimal disruption,” according to tribal officials. “We strongly recommend that offices and businesses where employees are required to wear face coverings establish a mandatory face-covering policy for their customers as well, especially where a physical distance of six feet or more cannot be maintained.”
The goal is to not only open safely, but to create confidence in the tribe across employers, employees and customers. As recommended by Inyo County, preventative measures should continue to be followed, such as wearing a cloth or fabric face mask when conducting essential activities outside the home, avoiding contact with sick individuals, washing hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, practicing social distancing and adhering to state and county orders.
Updates will be available to the public as they occur on KBPT-LP 96.1fm and on the tribe’s website and facebook page.