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Okanogan County enters Phase 2 - CORRECTED

Reservation has additional restrictions

CORRECTION: This article has been amended to show the correct graduation date for Lake Roosevelt, which is June 13.

Okanogan County enters Phase 2, meaning locally, among other things, that Lake Roosevelt’s modified graduation ceremony can go on as scheduled; however, reservation restrictions vary from the county’s. 

On June 5, Okanogan County entered Phase 2 of Washington State’s Safe Start plan for reopening businesses and activities in Washington. 

“While moving to Phase 2 is an important step, we still have work ahead of us to stay in Phase 2 and, later, to move on to Phases 3 and 4,” a Facebook post from Okanogan County Emergency Management reads. “It is important for everyone to follow the Phase 2 guidance.” 

Phase 2 allows for restaurants to open their dining rooms to 50% capacity, indoor retail with restrictions, hair and nail salons to reopen, in-home services like housekeeping to take place, camping, and more. 

“People in high-risk populations are strongly encouraged to limit their participation in these Phase II activities and business services,” a June 5 press release from OCEM reads, listing people 65 and older as well as those with underlying medical conditions as those defined by the Centers for Disease Control as being high-risk. 

Additionally, the Colville Indian Reservation, a large section of which is in Okanogan County, is currently under COVID-19 related restrictions that have been extended through to June 26, including additional restrictions for non-tribal members. 

The Colville Business Council extended the restrictions with a resolution passed May 28. 

Restrictions include the prohibition of public gatherings of 10 or more people, a stay-at-home order for residents of the Colville Reservation, and the prohibition of non-essential business activity on the Colville Reservation.

The prior resolution to prohibit non-tribal members from camping, fishing, or hunting within the exterior boundaries of the reservation has been expanded to also prohibit boating, gathering, hiking, and any other form of outdoor recreation by non-tribal members.

“Fines will be imposed for violations of these restrictions,” the Tribal Tribune reported. 

CBC Chairman Rodney Cawston said that “the next few weeks may be a critical period of the pandemic as we learn more about whether reopening can be done safely. As we watch the data, we will continue to do our best to protect the health and safety of the public, which has been our top priority since this outbreak began.”

Despite the extension of restrictions on the reservation, tribal court operations resumed in Nespelem June 8, the Tribal Tribune reported that same day. Hearings are to be held with precautions, including taking the temperature of those entering the building, having people wear masks, and keeping the number of people in the building to a minimum. 

Lake Roosevelt Junior/Senior High Principal Kirk Marshlain told The Star on Monday that the graduation, scheduled for June 13, is a go, and that the reservation restrictions shouldn’t affect the graduation, adding that he hasn’t heard anything from the tribe regarding graduation.


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