Today, the Colville Business Council discussed and sent notice to the Colville Confederated Tribes Executive Director to develop a plan to reopen all tribal government operations. All of us have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Business Council would like to encourage all of our tribal members and community residents to become vaccinated for the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
With today’s meeting, Tribal Council approved to waive the work and personal travel restrictions for our employees who have completed both vaccinations. This will require our staff to produce a CDC Covid-19 Vaccination Record Card that is issued by our tribal clinics to all those who received their second vaccination.
All of our clinical operations at Inchelium, Keller, Nespelem and Omak are using the Moderna vaccine which requires two doses. Our clinics have an approved schedule of who to vaccinate and when. Initially Phase 1A & 1B or all medical providers, Convalescent Center Staff & residents, Direct contact EOC, Elders over the age of 65, and Essential Employees over the age of 60 were vaccinated. Our Clinics are now moving to phase 2A & 2B, Elders over 55 and essential employees, homeless and patients with underlying conditions. Once these phases are completed they will move to Phase 3, which includes everyone else over the age of 18. You will need to be a registered patient and then schedule an appointment to receive both the initial dose and when to come in for your second dose (four weeks after the initial date).
Council looks forward to welcoming back all of our employees who were placed on administrative leave, layoffs, standby (job search requirement waived) and furloughs. Employees of the Colville Confederated Tribes should begin preparing to return to work with this announcement. The Executive Director will issue and disseminate a return-to-work communication that outlines all the steps that you will need to take to comply with recommended COVID-19 safety protocols. It is important that we keep our patrons and staff in a safe work environment.
COVID-19 vaccination will significantly reduce your chances of getting COVID-19. Based on evidence from clinical trials, the Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people who received two doses who had no evidence of being previously infected. (Center for Disease Control, Jan 25, 2021). COVID-19 vaccines will not give you the Coronavirus and will not cause you to test positive. People who have already survived COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated, as we now know there are multiple strains of COVID-19.
To prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, tribal council issued a proclamation that restricted crowd sizes, stay at home safe requirements, wearing masks, sanitizing and washing your hands and physical distancing. This proclamation has not been rescinded and these requirements are still required. However, we will also ask our Executive Director, Executive Staff and our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to address relaxing some of these requirements for some of our events for those who have received both vaccinations. It is exciting for us to begin thinking about developing future plans of hosting a stick game tournament, memorializing our lost loved ones, and other traditional ceremonies that we had to cancel or postpone over this past year.