Squaxin Island Tribe has declared a state of emergency in an effort to protect the community against coronavirus COVID-19.

Please be aware that we are doing everything possible to keep you safe and up-to-date.


Our community is off limits to non-residents.

The Tribe has issued vehicle stickers, two per household, that will identify you as having access to the community.

We will be blocking off access to the community with the exception of the main entrance. We will have Squaxin PD, or IEI Security posted at the main entrance to ensure only community residents, and SIT staff come onto the reservation.

We encourage you to only go out of the community for essential items or doctors appointments.

We can not reiterate enough to isolate our Elders from younger kids. During this time please utilize Facetime, or other virtual means to stay in touch with your family.

April 3

Squaxin Family,

First, I want to thank each of you for your patience with regards to the lock down of our community. We are taking every measure possible to keep this virus out of the Squaxin community. With that in mind, we distributed N95 masks to each home. We ask that you utilize these masks when you venture out to the grocery store, or any place else you encounter people that don’t live in your home. These masks aren’t the most comfortable, but they will protect you, and protect others. It is also a good reminder that you shouldn’t touch your face while out of your home, and not to touch your face until you have returned home and washed your hands.

The Governor has extended the stay home order to May 4th. That can start to seem like a distant finish line, but I implore each of you to stay the course right now. The more disciplined we can be today and the following weeks will determine if the May 4th date is the finish line, or if it gets moved further.

Please stay home unless otherwise necessary to get essential items, and please stay safe! Remember to check out the Squaxin Website and Facebook pages to stay informed with up to date information.

– Marvin Campbell

Squaxin Island Health Clinic approach to management and testing with regard to concern for COVID-19

Patients with mild symptoms and no history of exposure: (Example: cough without fever or shortness of breath)

Social distancing

No need to come in to clinic

Patients to stay home, rest and stay hydrated

Patients with no known exposure but concerning symptoms: (Example: cough, fever, shortness of breath)

Social distancing

Present to clinic for evaluation including testing to rule out influenza and strep and, if necessary, refer out to Kaiser or the emergency room for COVID-19 testing

Rest and stay hydrated

Patients with a history of exposure to confirmed COVID-19 and concerning symptoms:
Present to clinic for evaluation including testing to rule out influenza and strep and, if necessary, refer out to Kaiser or the emergency room for COVID-19 testing

Hospitalization, if indicated, otherwise, self-quarantine for two weeks

Rest and stay hydrated

All patients presenting to clinic with ANY respiratory symptoms will be masked and immediately moved to an isolated examination room.

As the situation changes this process is subject to change as well.

Clinic Approach to Testing for COVID-19
If we believe we have a patient that meets the criteria, we will take the next steps to get that patient tested. We currently are screening patients prior to arrival via phone. When they call in, we are asking questions regarding symptoms. If the receptionist is uncomfortable with the answer, she will transfer the phone call to the nurse and they will triage further. Staff has been instructed that, when we have a patient who needs to be seen and there is a concern regarding the contagion issue, we will ask meet them at the back door and have them place a mask on. They will then be escorted to a room and the door will be shut. The nurse will have the correct protective equipment on when she meets the patient.

New way of picking up your medications – Pharmacy Pickup until further Notice

When you have an appointment with the provider

Either in person or Telehealth

1.  Receptionist will get cell phone number and email address from patient

2.  Provider- Notify Pharmacist – Runner – Patient

Patient call in Rx refill

1. Patient calls in for refill; Pharmacist tells the patient to call back when they are in the clinic parking lot; wait in the car and we will deliver the Rx

2. Pharmacist – Runner when Rx ready for pickup

3. Runner will take medications to patient cars.

4. Runner will relay pharmacy messages to patient

5. Patient to call pharmacist for counseling if Rx is new

Please call Pharmacist to check and see if your medication is ready.

Thank you for your patience at this time.


COVID-19 Response from Outside Organizations

Squaxin State of the Tribal Community Address

Tribal Council received a recommendation from the Election Committee to postpone the May 2nd General Body meeting to June 27th. The Council approved the motion to reschedule the General Body meeting to June 27th.

Rider Alert Squaxin Transit Service
Effective March 31, 2020, Squaxin Tribal Transit is providing food bank and grocery delivery as well as prescription drop off/pick up for tribal members and HOMEBOUND individuals living within our service area within ten (10) miles of the Squaxin Island Tribe Reservation. We also provide transit services for life sustaining medical appointments.

Grocery stores that offer online purchases for pick-up may include Fred Meyer, Safeway, and Walmart.

This service is TEMPORARY and implemented with the support of the Washington State Department of Transportation in response to COVID-19 outbreak.

Like others, we are navigating through the unknown and are providing transportation services to our tribal members as well as our rural community.

Your patience at this time is greatly appreciated.

If you live within our service area, and in need of food or medications, please contact our Transit Coordinator, Tammy Ford at (360) 789-5936 or (360) 432-3888.

We will update any changes on our Squaxin Island Tribe website and in our Daily Scoop.

As a community, we cannot reiterate enough to isolate our Elders from younger children. During this time, please utilize Facetime, or other virtual means to stay in touch with your family so we can get through this as soon as possible.


FedEx and UPS can now deliver directly to residents on the Reservation

Island Enterprises is doing their very best to follow social distancing.  As of Monday, March 23, the front door will be locked.

Elders checks will be available for pickup at IEI on their regular pickup date.

Please ring the bell and the check will be brought out to you. We are relocating the bell.  If you would rather stay in your car, please call the front desk, and it will be brought out to you.

Since the casino is closed, we made arrangements with our bank for you to cash your Elders check. It is Columbia Bank on Olympia’s west side.

We sincerely appreciate your patience during this time.

Rent and Utility Payments


As the Tribal Leadership continues to work hard at protecting our community from the COVID-19 virus, we are also working at easing the burden on you economically. The Council has approved deferring all rent, and utility payments until May 1st, 2020. Be aware that defer means payments that accrue will be added at a later date, the additional amount will be averaged over the remaining 7 months of the year so as to not create the payment of an entire month at once.

For Tribal members who do not live on the reservation but may have been laid off from work, we ask that you call Family Services at (360) 432-3906 to see what funds you may be eligible for.

Squaxin Island Community Residents
Your household received toilet paper today delivered by some of our exceptional fellow Tribal members. As toilet paper remains in high demand during Covid-19, please use this as a reminder to not flush wipes, paper towels, disinfecting wipes, or any other paper products besides toilet paper down the toilet.

Although flushable wipes say they are flushable- they are not. They clog pumps and can lead to overflow of sewage that can cause problems to the environment and human health. An overflow would cause a community wide back-up into your neighbors homes. So please: No wipes down the pipes!

Little Creek Casino Resort recognizes this is a challenging time for all, and we remain deeply committed to the safety and wellbeing of our guests and team members. To that end, we have determined it is in the best interest of our community to suspend all operations; the hotel, RV park as well as Salish Cliffs Golf Club will be closed as of Wednesday, March 25th, 2020.

Our plan is to re-evaluate reopening in April. We will continue to update our guests on any changes to our operation through our website and Facebook page. For questions you may call 800-667-7711.

We are humbled by your loyalty through this rapidly evolving situation. Little Creek Casino Resort remains committed to keeping our resort safe and healthy for you to enjoy as we do our part to slow the spread of the COVID-19.

We Miss You!

Don’t forget we have free curbside meals
Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

For children 0-18. Children must be present!

Your teachers are working hard on lessons & activities to share with you all, be sure to check them out on our Facebook page.

Staff are also putting together activity boxes for families that want them. Pick up curbside at the center.

Miss Vicki is working hard on Early Head Start and Early Childhood Education & Assistance applications. If we are missing information or if you need enrollment packets let us know!

We are also cleaning your classrooms from the ceiling to the floor to make sure our environment is safe for when you return.


Squaxin Island Behavioral Health Services operations under Tribal/State of Emergency

While the Tribe is operating under a Tribal/State of Emergency, Behavior Health will continue to be available as essential staff through a Tele-Health system. This means we will be working through a face-to-face video chat and telephone application while our employees and clients are in the safety of their home. Our front office staff will also be available to take, return and transfer calls during this time.

At this time, we are offering the option of replacing current and/or future scheduled counseling appointments with a video chat session through 3CX Web Meeting, Zoom and/or platforms – all available to both Apple and Android users. If this is a route you are wanting to explore, please contact Kaitlyn at the front desk (360-426-1582) to schedule or, if you have access to your counselor through their work cell, you can schedule a session with them. Staff will take the time to walk you through the process in order to make this and ourselves available to you.

We have access to all of our regular contact methods during business hours 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m!

As always, if this is an emergency and you are unsafe, dial 911.


Kaitlyn –
Jessica –



Community members seeking services call (360) 432-3906

These FAQs are provided in response to questions raised by tribal and community members about services and programs.

Grant and Other Funding

  • What can do we qualify for?
    • Funds are approved for those eligible for the nutrition and supportive services, emergency and general assistance (GA), Domestic Violence, TANF, VR, some housing, certain bills, and food.
    • Not everyone will qualify for assistance, but we can also refer to other services.
    • You may not have qualified before, based on your work and other conditions, and qualify now. Please call and check.
    • The usual job search and community service requirements for GA are eased, and we do not expect people who are eligible to break the shelter in place to job hunt in person. Call to learn more.
  • How should we apply for, and receive assistance?
    • Call our main number (see above), or most numbers of staff you’re used to working with. These will go directly to their cell phones, while we work from home and other tele-working protocol established at this time.
    • Much of the paperwork and distribution of funds are being done electronically and with minimal face- to-face contact, for everyone’s safety.
    • Distribution of assistance will occur at set times, to avoid large groups of people and minimize unnecessary contact. You will be notified via whatever contact information you provided about the hours you can collect resources. Staff will be wearing masks and other recommended protections. If you do not come at that time, vouchers and similar will be mailed.
    • Your first call will be to gather information. We will look at all our programs to try and find a fit. So after the initial intake call, we may still have to gather more information. Please be patient with the process.
  • Can we get childcare cost assistance?
    • If you are continuing to work and eligible. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis. We are hearing that allowances/waivers could be made. Contact us to find out  It’s worth it to call or email us to check. Finding childcare could be challenging right now and there are considerations for family babysitting or another willing person. Again ,please get in touch to see if we can pay someone we wouldn’t normally pay. There will be paperwork, of course.
  • Can we come drop by in person?
    • No, we closed our Elders’ and other building for safety and are delivering meals to Elders. The food bank is still open on Fridays and, if you are not a resident of the reservation, let law enforcement know you are going to the food bank. Pick up your box or bag and then leave via the same way.
  • Can we use certain funds when we are not working, not looking for work or going to school?
    • Yes, certain funding requirements have been waived at this time. You may still need to provide receipts and some other steps, but there are fewer restrictions on some funding sources. For example, you are not required to go out for non-essentials in this extended isolation period, or do tasks that are not in line with sheltering in place and social

Family Services Director: Charlene Abrahamson – 360-432-3914

Family Services has the following plans in place, which is all dependent on essential staff staying well and with other departments we work closely with – safety will be the first priority, as well as being able to keep access to supplies.

We encourage everyone to call and see what you may be eligible for. We have several different programs and, due to current circumstances, there may be services available that you think you cannot get. The front desk line – (360) 432-3906 – will go to a staff cell phone and be answered as though we’re in the building.

Elder Programs
All Elders are getting a lunch delivered and homebound elders/vulnerable adults get shelf-stable foods on Friday, for the weekend. Jamie Queen can be reached at (360) 545-2570.

Indian Child Welfare (ICW) Programs
ICW will continue with investigations only, based on reports received from community or other agencies/tribes. Therefore, no supervised visits or home studies will occur. If communication with the court is necessary, this can be done telephonically and electronic documentation too.

TANF Programs
TANF staff will still be able to get the usual payments into the system, providing the finance system continues operating. A day and hours will be given for picking up checks and other incentives at the office. People will need to arrive to collect at the times we will announce, since the office will not be open outside these hours. We will determine starting new clients on a case-by-case basis, based on safety for both clients and staff. The focus will be on housing and food.

Food Bank
The Food Bank operates on Fridays. Pre-made boxes/bags will be prepared to go directly to your car to reduce social interaction.

Crime Victims, Domestic Violence Services
Crime victims, advocacy, community healing and domestic violence services will provide resources wherever possible related to food, bills, and communicating with other agencies to advocate for telephonic hearings, for example. We cannot provide any transportation for the time being.

Childcare Payments, Vouchers for Gas and Clothing
Childcare payments, for those who are still working, will continue to be paid. We will be submitting all required paperwork, etc. to Finance at both the Tribe and SPIPA to get payments and other incentives out. There will be fewer distributions of vouchers for gas and clothing assistance, because these things were assisting with appointments for children, work, classes, and other usual activities that are now cancelled, and since we have to meet grant requirements. If you live off-reservation and have been receiving services, these will continue. Any potential new clients, please call and we will assess your needs with you.

Essential staff will have calls to their desks go directly to their cell phones.

Charlene Abrahamson, Director (360) 432-3914 |


We believe the greatest threat to our community is to our Elders. We ask that all Elders with compromised immune systems remain in their homes.
CERT members are making contact with our Elders on a regular bases to see what needs they have.

Contact CERT: or (360) 426-5308.

If you are living with an Elder with a compromised immune system, please limit leaving your home.

Community Services Announcement: WIC, USDA Foods, LIHEAP/Energy Assistance

We are still accepting and processing WIC benefits.

Please call (360) 426-3990 to discuss your WIC needs.

Commodities: You could be eligible for USDA Foods. Call (360) 426-3990 to get set up. You cannot be on SNAP to be eligible for USDA Foods.

Energy Assistance: If you didn’t utilize LIHEAP benefits last year, please call the SPIPA office to see how we can help you.

Debbie Gardipee
(360) 545-7281 work cell

Court Emergency Standing Order

Beware of scams surrounding covid-19
Beware of scams surrounding covid-19 test kits and other medical supplies.  Scams are asking for credit card #’s promising to send equipment/supplies.

The National Hot Line to report scams is 877-720-5721.  FYI – I tried calling the hot line and it continued to ring, probably due to the high call volume.  I did confirm the # on the website.
– Ray

Covid-19 Response from Outside Organizations