NESPELEM, WA – In response to a spike of COVID-19 cases across the State of Washington and on the Colville Reservation, the Colville Tribes announced today that it will close the Lucy Covington Government Center at least through this Friday, July 10. Non-essential employees will be asked to telecommute or placed on administrative leave. Employees should check with their supervisors to determine if they have been deemed essential and required to work. This closure will only affect employees stationed in the Government Center building. Masks are now required for all people entering the Government Center.

Committees will be held as previously scheduled on Wednesday, July 8, followed by a Special Session. The business of the Committees will be limited to essential and time-sensitive matters, however, with most matters delayed to the next scheduled committee session when possible. New agendas will be available prior to the scheduled Committee hearings.

A regular session of the Colville Business Council will be held on Thursday, July 9. The swearing-in of newly elected Councilmembers will be conducted at this time, and the election of Chairpersons will occur. The event will be streamed live but it will be physically closed to the public as a public safety precaution. The committees of July 8 and the regular session of July 9 will both be held in the Auditorium of the Lucy Covington Government Center, to permit a safe amount of social distancing during the events. The normal public celebration during the swearing-in is postponed. A new date is not yet scheduled. The normal orientation for new Councilmembers, set to begin on Monday, July 13, is postponed. Written materials will be submitted in place of live speakers.

Rodney Cawston, Chairman of the Colville Tribes, said, “We regret the need to temporarily scale back or delay any of the important business of our government. Unfortunately, the discovery of new COVID-19 cases on the Reservation has increased the need for public safety measures to be strictly enforced. It is as important now as ever to follow the measures Council has implemented to protect public health – to practice social distancing, to wash and sanitize your hands, to stay home when possible and avoid crowds of more than 10 people, and to wear masks.”

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