NESPELEM — The Colville Tribes announced today that it is immediately lifting all public safety measures previously instituted to protect the community from COVID-19. A Resolution first passed on March 25, 2020, which imposed multiple public safety measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, including the closure of the Colville Reservation and limits on gathering sizes. These safety measures have been extended on multiple occasions as the pandemic continued to remain a threat, but they are all now lifted, effective immediately.
The Colville Tribes has made great progress with its vaccination efforts. Over 50% of tribal members and 70% 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. Current guidance from the federal Center for Disease Control indicates that fully vaccinated people may relax safety measures such as mask wearing.
The Chairman of the Colville Tribes, Rodney Cawston, said, “Throughout the course of this pandemic, for over a year, our community members have made incredible efforts to fight this virus and remain safe. 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.”
The Chairman continued, “Vaccines continue to be available across the Colville Reservation. Anybody who still needs a shot is encouraged to get into a clinic immediately.”