Border not expected to re-open until at least the end of June

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According to members of the Whatcom County border task force, it's unlikely that the U.S./Canada border will re-open before the end of June. Fire chief Christopher Carleton reported to a local Zoom community group that local CBSA officials are predicting that the U.S. and Canadian governments are unofficially shooting for a June 21 re-opening which could be delayed until after the July 1 and 4 national holidays. The reports of the extension to June 21 was first reported by the Globe and Mail in Toronto. In April, the border closure was extended until May 21.

B.C. health officials remain opposed to the border being opened. B.C. Minister of Health Adrian Dix at a Monday news briefing said it made “no sense” to have travelers crossing the border in either direction. B.C. has had a fraction of the cases that Washington state has experienced. As of May 13, there have been a total of 2,376 cases with just 385 active and 132 deaths. In Washington state, there have been 17,773 cases, 983 deaths (5.5 percent), 267,931 negative results (6.6 percent of all tests returning positive).

According to a report in the May 13 issue of the New York Times, the Trump administration is considering a new rule that would close the border indefinitely. According to the Times, the order is under review by several government agencies and, “once issued by Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the CDC, the border restrictions would stay in effect until he decides the virus no longer poses a threat. The new order would require CDC officials to review the dangers posed by the virus every 30 days."

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