Colville Businesses Suffering from Border Closure
The President of the Colville Chamber of Commerce said businesses can't wait until the border is open again to all traffic.
Christa McDonald surveyed several Colville businesses and said although they are in stage-three of Washington State's recovery plan, their sales are suffering from a lack of Kootenay customers.
“What I’ve discovered, what they’ve told me was anywhere between 15-and-30% and that they’re really missing the Canadians down here,” said McDonald who conceded Kootenay customers won't be back until Americans get more serious about halting the spread of COVID-19.
“The only way we are going to do it is to stay self-distanced and wear masks and stay home as much as possible because it (COVID-19) is spiking down here again.”
The latest data from the Northeast Tri County Health District stated two-of-the-three infections over the weekend in Stevens County were in the Colville area.
The statistics also indicated Stevens County accounted for 43 new cases during the most recent 14-day period on record and five people are in county hospitals suffering from COVID-19.
Health officials stated travel from counties with higher infection rates is one reason for the increase and admitted lax adherence to social-distancing and larger than recommended gatherings are also responsible.
McDonald said the Colville business community has been doing a good job trying to protect employees and customers.
“There’s still a few businesses that are hanging out there and giving you dirty looks when you (customers) wear a mask, but I’d say 75-to-80% of people are wearing them now in Colville,” said the chamber president.
The border will remain closed to non-essential traffic until at least August 21.