NESPELEM — The Colville Business Council has lifted all public safety measures instituted last year to protect the community from COVID-19.
A resolution first passed March 25, 2020, imposed multiple public safety measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, including the closure of the Colville Indian Reservation and limits on gathering sizes. The measures were extended on multiple occasions as the pandemic continued to remain a threat.
The tribe announced May 21 that all restrictions were lifted immediately.
“The Colville tribes has made great progress with its vaccination efforts,” said a tribal announcement.
More than 50 percent of tribal members and 70 percent of tribal employees are now fully vaccinated.
“The current science on the vaccines shows that they are extremely effective in stopping the threat of the coronavirus,” said the tribe. “Current guidance from the federal Center for Disease Control indicates that fully vaccinated people may relax safety measures, such as mask wearing.”
“Throughout the course of this pandemic, for over a year, our community members have made incredible efforts to fight this virus and remain safe,” said Colville Business Council Chairman Rodney Cawston. “People practiced social distancing. They wore face coverings and avoided large gatherings.
“When vaccines became available, people lined up to take them. Now, with vaccines widespread and cases declining across the country as science shows the vaccines are effective, the time has come to lift mandatory public safety measures. People may continue to use their own judgment and be prudent in their own conduct, but as a government, it is time to lift mandatory restrictions and celebrate our vaccination success.”
He said vaccines continue to be available across the Colville reservation.
“Anybody who still needs a shot is encouraged to get into a clinic immediately,” Cawston said.