Southern Ute Indian Tribe

News

News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Federal Agencies Narrow Scope of Federally Protected “Waters of the United States” But Tribe Intends to Protect Tribal Waters

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Christine Sage, Chairman – 970.563.0100

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 4, 2020 – 9:00 A.M.

Federal Agencies Narrow Scope of Federally Protected “Waters of the United States” But Tribe Intends to Protect Tribal Waters

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – Notwithstanding the Tribe’s strong opposition, on January 23, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (collectively the “Agencies”), the agencies responsible for administering the Clean Water Act, finalized a rule to define “waters of the United States” (“Final Rule”). Under the Clean Water Act, there is federal authority to regulate the discharge of pollutants and the placement of fill into “navigable waters.” The Clean Water Act defines “navigable waters” to mean “the waters of the United States.” Whether a particular water body is jurisdictional as a “water of the United States” is a threshold question for determining whether a discharge into that water will require a permit under the Clean Water Act or whether a spill (i.e., an unpermitted discharge) is a violation of the Clean Water Act and subject to an enforcement action by the Agencies. In other words, under the Clean Water Act, the scope of federal regulatory authority is limited to “waters of the United States.”

 

The Final Rule substantially narrows the scope of waterbodies subject to federal regulation under the Clean Water Act – notably excluding ephemeral features (those that flow only in response to precipitation events) that are prevalent throughout the southwestern United States and on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. The Final Rule also excludes non-adjacent wetlands, groundwater, and many farm and roadside ditches.

 

For proposed development and work in or near excluded waterbodies on the Reservation, the Final Rule will reduce developers’ federal permitting obligations. In the event of a spill into previously protected but now excluded waterbodies on the Reservation, the Final Rule will reduce owner and operators’ spill reporting obligations and the risk of a federal enforcement action. The Final Rule will also remove some development from the applicability of EPA’s oil spill prevention program and the obligation to prepare a spill prevention, control and countermeasure plan. In other words, the Final Rule leaves water resources on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation less protected.

 

The Final Rule becomes effective on June 22, 2020.

 

In response to the Final Rule, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe intends to protect excluded waterbodies on tribal trust land through the exercise of the Tribe’s regulatory authority (e.g., water quality standards) and contracting authority (e.g., land use and environmental protection stipulations in grants of rights-of-way and leases). In the event of a spill into previously protected but now excluded waterbodies on the Reservation, the Final Rule will reduce owner and operators’ spill reporting obligations and the risk of a federal enforcement action and, correspondingly, potentially reduce the owner and operators’ remediation responsibilities. For excluded waters on private property within the Reservation, the Tribe intends to carefully monitor activities impacting or that have the potential to impact those waterbodies. If an activity harms an excluded waterbody on private property and threatens to harm or results in harm to excluded waterbodies on tribal land, the Tribe will consider taking appropriate action to protect water quality. If the State of Colorado plans to implement a state-only program, such as a Clean Water Act Section 404 program, the Tribe plans to ensure that the statutes authorizing such a program and the regulations include language recognizing the limitations on the State’s authority on the Reservation. Finally, the Tribe expects all companies working on the Reservation, regardless of the current regulatory environment on a federal level, to use best management practices and to implement all appropriate measures to prevent adverse impacts to the Reservation’s water resources.

###

20200604 – Federal Agencies Narrow Scope of Federally Protected “Waters of the United States” But Tribe Intends to Protect Tribal Waters

 

SUIT & CDPHE COVID-19 Recovery and Viral Testing

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s most important resource is the enrolled Southern Ute tribal members and without its members the Tribe would not exist. On Wednesday, March 25, 2020 the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council in collaboration with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Incident Management Team (IMT) issued the “Stay at Home” Order prioritizing the health and safety of the Tribal Elders, high-risk and immune-compromised members, youth and the entire tribal membership.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the IMT furiously worked to purchase and collect personal protective equipment (PPE), testing kits, and funding to adequately respond to the coronavirus outbreak and to prepare for the unknown events in the coming weeks. The IMT developed an agreement with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to mobilize a team of qualified health professionals with resources, testing kits, and PPE to conduct free, voluntary drive-thru viral testing for enrolled Southern Ute tribal members and immediate family members.

A viral test will be conducted to determine individuals who are currently infected with the coronavirus. This is very different from the anti-body testing which will not be conducted at this time. The viral test will help determine how wide-spread the virus is, identify hot-spots within our community, and aide in the tribal priority of keeping our tribal member safe.  Approximately 2,000 tests will be conducted over a 3-day period. Tests are not mandatory, but voluntary for those who wish to have a test performed. Tribal Members and immediate household members (including non-enrolled tribal members) can elect to have the test performed.

Tribal Members are encouraged to wear face masks when participating in the viral drive-thru test administration.

Drive-thru viral testing will be performed throughout three days, beginning on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 beginning at 8:00 a.m. in the Sky Ute Casino Resort overflow parking lot (between the Sky Ute Casino Resort and the TERO building). Please see the attached map detailing the testing area and testing process, identifies the entrances, check-in, testing tents where viral test swabs will be collected, and exit.

For maximum efficiency, the IMT has developed a testing schedule modeling the schedule used during both  Spring and Fall Cleanup. Further, tribal residential areas have been identified  by approximate household size and number of approximate daily testing capabilities.

For example: Tribal Members residing in Cedar Point East, West, and Townhomes will test on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Tribal Elders and tribal members with vulnerabilities are eligible for voluntary testing priority daily from 8:00 9:00 a.m.

If you are unable to be tested on the date identified in the schedule, please contact the Southern Ute Health Center to schedule an appointment to be tested. To schedule an appointment, please call 970.563.4581.

All individuals who are electing to be tested are required to complete a mandatory Testing and Demographics Release form. Parents and Guardians must complete a form for all children in the household. Forms are available on social media, tribal website, Tribal Member Portal, and at the entrance of the drive-thru testing. Tribal Information Services will be at the Check-In station verifying enrollment. Please bring your completed form to expedite the testing process.

Tribal Elders and tribal members who are immobilized or unable to drive to the drive-thru testing location may dispatch assistance by calling the Southern Ute Indian Tribe COVID-19 Call Center at 970.563.0214 to arrange for transportation.

The viral testing will be available to the tribal membership on June 9-11, 2020 from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.. Priority will be given to Tribal Elders and tribal members with self-diagnosed vulnerabilities the first hour of each day from 8:00 until 9:00 a.m.. Please see the viral testing procedures below:

  1. Entrance to the drive-thru testing area is accessible from both Colorado Highway 172 and County Road 517. Follow cones that will be placed for traffic control. Tribal members are required to stay inside their vehicles.
  2. Testing and Demographics Release form are required to be completed for every individual electing to receive the viral test. If you require time to complete the form, please notify staff immediately.
  3. Vehicles will be instructed to follow the serpentine traffic control marked using traffic cones then into one of three testing lanes as directed by staff.
  4. Staff will direct tribal members to place their vehicles in park, collect Testing and Demographics Release form and perform viral test on each individual requesting to be tested.
  5. Staff will direct tribal members to exit the testing area upon completion. Vehicles should exit the overflow parking lot and drive south on Ouray Drive between the Southern Ute Museum and Justice & Regulatory Building to County Road 517.

Follow-up results will only be provided to individuals who have tested positive. Test results are available within 5-7 days. Tribal Members who do not hear a response, should assume the results of their viral test were negative. If your viral test returns a positive result, you will receive a follow-up call from a healthcare professional with the Southern Ute Health Center staff with recommendations for care.

We would like to reiterate that the viral tests are voluntary and available to enrolled Southern Ute tribal members and their immediate family member (including those who are not enrolled). Please bring your completed Testing and Demographics Release form on the day of testing. If you do not have a Testing and Demographics Release form prior to arrival at the testing area, one will be provided to you at the Check-In station.  If you have questions, please contact the Southern Ute Indian Tribe COVID-19 Call Center at 970.563.0214. The Call Center hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M.

Tribal Members who are unable to participate in the voluntary drive-thru viral testing June 9-11, 2020, may have the test performed at the Southern Ute Health Center. To schedule an appointment with the health center, please call 970.563.4581.

If you are sick, please self-isolate. If your symptoms begin to worsen, please call your primary healthcare provider or the Southern Ute Health Center at 970.563.4581. Do not arrive at your primary health care provider office without calling to notify the professionals of your symptoms.

Please continue to practice good hygiene by washing your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, cough and sneeze into the bend of your elbow or in a tissue then throw the tissue away. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects in your home. As a reminder, the Tribal “Stay at Home” Order remains in effect until further notice. Please stay home only leaving for essential activities. When you must leave your home, wear a face mask, continue to practice social distancing staying 6 feet away from others. Stay connected with your loved ones and our tribal elders.

20200603 – SUIT COVID-19 Test and Demo Release Form

AAOS – HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices – 2013

prevent-the-spread

prevent-the-spread-2

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Southern Ute Reservation Initiates Stage I Fire Restrictions

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Christine Sage, Chairman – 970.563.0100

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 8, 2020

SOUTHERN UTE RESERVATION INITIATES STAGE I FIRE RESTRICTIONS

Ignacio, CO – Due to the current high temperatures, dry fuel conditions and occurrence of recent wildland fires, Stage 1 fire restrictions have been implemented for all trust lands throughout the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. Everyone on reservation lands is asked to be very cautious and use common sense with fire this time of year.

 

Stage I Fire Restrictions prohibits acts for the general public, commercial operators and industrial oil and gas operators performing work on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.

 

STAGE I

General Public:

Prohibited acts:

 

 

  1. OPEN BURNING. Burning of trash and/or yard waste is prohibited.

 

  1. AGRICULTURAL BURNING. Burning of crop land, fields, rangeland, debris burning, slash piles, prescribed burning and weed burning are prohibited.

 

  1. CAMP FIRES. Building, maintaining or using a warming fire or campfire outside of officially designated or developed camp sites is prohibited.  The fire restrictions do not include charcoal fires (in suitable containers) for barbeques or fires for sweat ceremonies, however, such fires are not to be left unattended and are to be fully extinguished after use.

 

  1. Possession, discharging or use of any type or fireworks is prohibited.

 

Commercial and Industrial restrictions can be obtained from the BIA Fire Office at 575 County Road 517 or by calling (970) 563-4571.

 

Anyone violating the provisions of this fire ban may be subject to prosecution outlined in the Southern Ute Indian Criminal Code.

 

The Restrictions will become effective at 06:00 A.M., Monday, May 11, 2020 and will remain in effect until conditions improve.

 

 

To report fires contact:

DURANGO ZONE DISPATCH (970) 385-1324

For more info or to report Fire Restriction Violations contact:

BIA FIRE MANAGEMENT (970) 563-4571 OR SOUTHERN UTE POLICE DEPARTMENT (970) 563-4401

 

###

 

20200508 – Southern Ute Indian Reservation Initiates Stage I Fire Restrictions

Southern Ute Indian Tribal Court REVISED Operations

 

The Southern Ute Tribal Court has updated their operating functions for the modified services they are currently providing to address Tribal Court matters. The Court’s Administrative Order and Public Notice have been approved by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Incident Management Team (IMT).

The new hours and operations are set to begin Monday, May 11, 2020.

For questions related to the modification of tribal operations, tribal members are encouraged to call the Southern Ute COVID-19 Call Center at 970.563.0214. The Call Center hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

 

Administrative Order COVID May 2020

Notice to Public Tribal Court 05072020

Boys and Girls Club Announcement

For families who are interested in Boys & Girls Club of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe 2020 summer program, please fill out the survey by clicking on the following link. The survey will be open until May 15, 2020. This will help us determine what summer might look like for our club.

 

https://s.surveyplanet.com/V1iCsSFND

Bruce LeClaire

Chief Executive Officer

Boys & Girls Club of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe

290 Mouache Circle / Ignacio, CO  81137

Office: (970) 563-2694

www.bgcsu.org

www.facebook.com/BGCSUIT

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Southern Ute Indian Tribe Continues Safety Measures and Reaffirms ‘Stay at Home’ Order

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Christine Sage, Chairman – 970.563.0100

Amy Barry, SUIT IMT PIO – 970.563.2281

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 23, 2020 – 12:10 P.M.

 

Southern Ute Indian Tribe Continues Safety Measures and Reaffirms ‘Stay at Home’ Order

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – On Wednesday, March 25, 2020, the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council issued a “Stay at Home Order”. To slow and/or stop the spread of COVID-19, it is crucial the Tribe continues to adhere to the order requiring tribal members to stay home unless it is for essential activities. The continuation of the order is based on Tribal Council’s continuous assessment of the rapidly-changing and serious public health emergency.

 

The Southern Ute leadership is very aware that over the last few days the State of Colorado has announced a relaxation of some social distancing standards under the banner of a “Safer at Home” program. Having reviewed the basis of the State’s decision, and more importantly, considered the special needs concerns and vulnerabilities of the Southern Ute people, it has been determined that any relaxation of social distancing standards or practices is premature. It is our belief that this premature relaxation of standards poses a threat to the Tribe that is unwarranted given local circumstances and the near total lack of evidence regarding the degree to which the disease has entered this community. In exercise of its sovereignty, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe has chosen to maintain all current social distancing orders, particularly, the Stay at Home order of March 25, 2020 until further notice.

 

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Permanent Fund, Growth Fund, Shared Services and the Sky Ute Casino and Resort, will continue to telework and modify programs and services to ensure the protection and safety of tribal members, tribal employees, and our community. Identified operations have been modified in accordance with the recommendations made by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) which includes guidelines for social distancing and restrictions on congregated groups no larger than 5 people, and at least 6 feet apart. Social distancing guidelines also include limitations for person-to-person contact, group meetings, and other social activities.

 

The non-essential functions have been identified and a comprehensive list of modified services and hours of operations continue to be updated through the established Southern Ute COVID-19 Call Center, KSUT Tribal Radio, Southern Ute DRUM E-Edition, social media, and tribal websites.

 

As initially recommended by the CDC, the tribe recommends the use of face coverings when leaving your home for essential activities such as trips to the grocery store, visits to the doctor’s office or work as an essential employee. The coronavirus is spread by droplets in the air and individual contraction of COVID-19 by direct contact with someone who has tested positive or may have been exposed to the virus.

 

The Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council has also directed the Southern Ute Incident Management Team (IMT) to distribute face masks to Southern Ute Tribal Elders and the disabled/at-risk population of tribal members who reside on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. On Tuesday, April 14, 2020, the Southern Ute Community Health Representatives staff, caregivers (Visiting Angels and Comfort Keepers), and the Southern Ute Elders Services began distributing face masks to Southern Ute tribal elders and high risk elders who reside on the reservation. Please contact the Southern Ute Tribal Health CHR Division at (970) 563-0154 or (970) 563-2348 or the Southern Ute Elders Services Division at (970) 563-2323. The remaining masks will be held in reserve to ensure adequate supplies remain on hand for health care professionals and first responders if the situation deteriorates and Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) is required.

 

Tribal parks remain closed to gatherings of more than 5 people, but exercising is still encouraged while practicing social distancing.

 

We would like to applaud the Southern Ute Indian tribal membership for adhering to the Stay at Home Order, promoting social distancing, unity within our tribal community, supporting one another, sharing information and taking opportunities to create solutions that benefit the safety and wellness of the Southern Ute people and community. As this health pandemic continues to evolve, we will continue to provide information in a timely and consistent manner.

 

The Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council urges all tribal members to listen for radio announcements, continue to check the Tribe’s official social media and website or call the COVID-19 Call Center. The Tribe will continue to make every effort to keep the membership informed.

 

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s COVID-19 Call Center will remain live through the duration of the modified government services being provided. In addition to fielding calls, the call center will be making proactive calls to all Southern Ute tribal members who have current addresses and phone numbers on file at TIS, Finance, Southern Ute Education and the Southern Ute Health Center. For enrolled Southern Ute tribal members who have not received communication from a tribal department, they are encouraged to contact the Southern Ute COVID-19 Call Center at (970) 563-0214, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. to establish a communication stream going forward. The Tribe would like to account for each tribal member’s safety and wellness through this pandemic. Beginning Monday, May 4, 2020, the Southern Ute COVID-19 Call Center will operate Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

 

As stated previously, if you are a tribal member and are concerned about your health or any symptoms you may be experiencing, please contact your primary care provider or call the Southern Ute Health Center at (970) 563-4581 to speak with a health care professional.

 

###

20200423 – Southern Ute Indian Tribe Continues Safety Measures and Reaffirms ‘Stay at Home’ Order

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Southern Ute Indian Tribe Demands Investigation into Unlawfully Leaked Information for CARES Act Funds

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Christine Sage, Chairman – 970.563.0100

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 18, 2020 – 1:00 P.M.

 

Southern Ute Indian Tribe Demands Investigation into Unlawfully Leaked Information for CARES Act Funds

Southern Ute Indian Reservation On March 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act. This act provided $150 billion for governments, including $8 billion to be allocated among the 574 federally recognized Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages The funds were to be distributed within 30 days.

 

On Monday, April 13, 2020, all state, local and tribal governments were instructed to download information in to a secure portal at the Department of Treasury so that they could receive their CARES Act funds. For Tribes and tribal businesses, the information to be provided included tribal membership, lands held in trust and in fee, expenditures, and bank account information in which the funds were to be deposited. The first portion of the funds were to be deposited in to the Tribe’s bank account within approximately 24 hours of filing the certification.

 

Although the Southern Ute Indian Tribe filed its certification on Wednesday morning, no funds have been received. To make matters worse, on Friday evening we learned that the information provided to the Department of Treasury by every Tribe in the country had been unlawfully released.

 

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe has taken steps to make sure that its bank account is secure. But more importantly, the unlawful actions by one or more individuals at the federal government to leak this confidential information must be immediately investigated. We call upon the Department of Justice to immediately do so. The history of relations between the United States and tribal nations is replete with broken promises. The unlawful release of information is evidence that those broken promises by the federal government continue to this day.

 

###

20200418 – Southern Ute Indian Tribe demands investigation into unlawfully leaked inforamtion for CARES Act funds

Tribal Park & Playground Closure

On Wednesday, March 25, 2020, to protect the health of the tribal membership and the community, the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council issued a ‘Stay at Home’ Order. The Order requires people to stay home unless it is for an essential activity and prohibits public gatherings of more than 5 people.

It is important that everyone adheres to this Order to stop the spread of COVID-19. Before this pandemic, tribal members and family members gathered to celebrate birthday, special events, and holidays. Because of the social distancing requirements, Tribal Council encourages tribal members to use technology to participate in celebrations.

Individuals are prohibited from accessing closed tribal property. Violations could result in citations for trespassing and violators could be fined $150 and/or up to 30 days in jail.

“While each of us is accustomed to spending the holidays with our friends and family, the outbreak of COVID-19 has forces us to be adaptable in our celebrations. By following the ‘Stay at Home’ Order and celebrating with immediate household members, the sooner we can get back to enjoying the company of many of our friends and family,” said Chairman Christine Sage.

Please stay safe this Easter Weekend by celebrating from home. We encourage connecting with family outside of your home using technology.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Southern Ute Indian Tribe Recommends Face Coverage for Health Safety

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Christine Sage, Chairman – 970.563.0100

Amy Barry, SUIT IMT PIO – 970.563.2281

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 29, 2020 – 09:30 A.M.

 

Southern Ute Indian Tribe Recommends Face Coverage for Health Safety

Southern Ute Indian Reservation The Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council, in a collaborative response with the San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) to COVID-19 and recommends to individuals to cover your nose and mouth when leaving home for essential travel to the grocery store, doctor, or pharmacy. Individuals could practice extra precaution by using a bandana or homemade facemask coverings. It is important to reserve healthcare grade personal protective equipment (ppe) for the healthcare professionals.

 

Individuals who need to leave their homes are able to use a face covering over their nose and mouth as a precaution. Symptoms of COVID-19 have a long incubation period and individuals who leave their home for necessary reasons could contact the virus or unknowingly spread COVID-19 to others. “The spread of the virus occurs primarily through droplets from an infected individual, which fabrics can filter. A face covering helps lessen the risk for a healthy individual to breathe in droplets as well as spread from one who may not realize they are sick, or their symptoms are mild,” stated the SJBPH press release New San Juan Basin Public Health Recommendation: Cover Your Face issued on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

 

Face coverings convey the seriousness of this pandemic, as well as serving as a reminder to practice safe hygiene including washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, restricting touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and sneezing or coughing into your elbow or a tissue then throwing the tissue away.

 

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe issued a ‘Stay at Home’ Order on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 and encourages the tribal membership to stay home and practice social distancing, through these best practices we can flatten the curve and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

 

The San Juan Basin Public Health has shared the following tips:

 

How to safety adhere a face covering

  • Tie long hair back.
  • Wash your hands well.
  • Secure the face covering over your nose and mouth.
  • DO NOT touch your face or the face covering. If you do, sanitize your hands thoroughly.
  • Leave the covering on until you can safety remove it.
  • Remove your face covering immediately if it becomes wet or if you feel you’ve been in contact with someone who is sick.

 

How to safely remove a face covering

  • Wash your hands.
  • Grab the face covering by the area that goes over your ears.
  • Take the covering off, keeping the outside of it away from your face, and place directly in the washing machine or a site where you will appropriately sanitize.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

 

To find updates from the Southern Ute Indian Tribe on COVID-19, please observe the tribal social media, tribal websites, and by calling the Southern Ute Indian Tribe COVID-19 Call Center at 970.563.0214 which will operate from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., 7 days a week.

 

###

20200401 – Southern Ute Indian Tribe Recommends Face Coverage for Health Safety

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Southern Ute Indian Tribe confirms two positive cases of COVID-19

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Christine Sage, Chairman – 970.563.0100

Amy Barry, SUIT IMT PIO – 970.563.2281

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 29, 2020 – 09:30 A.M.

 

Southern Ute Indian Tribe confirms two positive cases of COVID-19

Southern Ute Indian Reservation Two employees of the Southern Ute Indian Tribal government have tested positive for COVID 19. They are in self-quarantine and we wish them the best in their recovery.  All appropriate steps are being taken to identify anyone who may have been exposed for notification to self-quarantine and self-monitor for symptoms of the disease. San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (DCPHE) are providing assistance during this investigation.  Anyone who is contacted by SJBPH and CDPHE are encouraged to cooperate to assist them in protecting the health and welfare of our Southern Ute tribal membership and government.  It is important to know that, by definition of the Centers for Disease Control, you have not been “exposed” unless you have had close contact with a person who has tested positive.

 

The definition of close contact is:

“being about six (6) feet (approximately two (2) meters) from an infected person or within the room or care area of an infected patient for a prolonged period while not wearing recommended PPE. Close contact also includes instances where there is direct contact with infectious secretions while not wearing recommended PPE. Close contact generally does not include brief interactions, such as walking past a person.”

 

All previous advisories about how to protect yourself, self-monitor and avoid exposing others to any illness you may have are doubly important now.  In addition to all precautions already in effect being maintained the following new procedure will take effect immediately:

 

Any staff reporting to work at any tribal facility in Ignacio must report to the tents behind the Health Center before proceeding to their work location. Employees will be screened and cleared to work that day by Health Center staff if they have no fever or other symptoms of COVID-19.

 

The only exception to this rule are law enforcement personnel who will be screened upon arrival at the Justice Center.

 

Please remain calm and vigilant.  Protect yourself and protect others by staying at home if you are ill.  We knew this day would come, but we will overcome this in due time.

 

###

 

20200329 – Southern Ute Indian Tribe confirms two positive cases of COVID-19 (FINAL)

Southern Ute Incident Management Team – Disease Control Level

Southern Ute Indian Tribe Incident Management Team (IMT) Disease Control Level

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe Incident Management Team (IMT) would like to share the Tribe’s Disease Control Level. As of Wednesday, March 25, 2020 the Tribe is under a ‘Stay at Home’ order.

This is one tool the IMT has been using to determine its response and tribal action plan related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Created & Published by Lindsay J. Box

SUIT IMT Disease Control Level

Southern Ute Health Center COVID-19 Testing Tent Procedures

Southern Ute Health Center COVID-19 Testing Tent Procedures

All patients who have any type of respiratory illness will be seen in the tent erected behind the health clinic. THIS IS NOT A DRIVE-THRU FACILITY.

There will be no walk-in appointments. Please call for an appointment at 970.563.4581. Clinic hours are 7:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

Photo Credits: Jeremy Wade Shockly | Southern Ute Drum; and Jeremiah B. Valdez

Designed and Produced by Lindsay J. Box

Southern Ute Indian Health Center COVID-19 Testing Tent Procedures

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Southern Ute Indian Tribe Increases Safety Measures and Issues ‘Stay at Home’ Order

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Christine Sage, Chairman – 970.563.0100

Amy Barry, SUIT IMT PIO – 970.563.2281

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 25, 2020 – 3:30P.M.

 

Southern Ute Indian Tribe Increases Safety Measures and Issues ‘Stay at Home’ Order

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – The Southern Ute Indian Tribal Chairman, Tribal Council, and Incident Management Team (IMT) are replacing the advisory issued on March 23, 2020 with a ‘Stay at Home’ Order effective today, Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 3:30 p.m. Because it is crucial to slow down the spread of COVID-19, the Tribe is requiring all tribal members to stay at home unless it is essential. The Order is based on Tribal Council’s continuous assessment of this rapidly-changing and serious public health emergency. The Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council urges all tribal members to listen for radio announcements, check the Tribe’s official social media and website, or call the COVID-19 Call Center at 970.563.0214 for the most up-to-date information. The Tribe will make every effort to keep the membership informed.

 

At the time of this release, there are no presumptive cases of COVID-19 on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.

 

Tribal members may leave their residence only to perform essential activities. Essential activities consist of the following:

 

  • Care for elders, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or other vulnerable people.
  • To buy food, pet supplies and essential household products for themselves, a household member, a family member, an elder, person with disabilities, or other persons in need of immediate assistance.
  • To obtain medical supplies or medication or to visit a health-care professional for yourself, a family member, a household member, an elder, person with disabilities, any other person in need of immediate assistance, or a pet.
  • To care for a family member or pet in another household.
  • To engage in banking or other financial transactions or services.
  • To go to work in an essential or critical business activity or service as determined by their employer or a governmental authority.
  • To engage in outdoor activities like walking, running, fishing, hunting, or walking a dog, as long as they maintain a safe social distance from others. Group sports are prohibited.
  • To provide for the funeral arrangements of a family or household member.
  • Travel required by law enforcement or court order or as necessary for participation in a legal proceeding.
  • Going to or from educational facilities to support distance learning or to get meals or related services.
  • To get supplies to work from home.
  • To perform other necessary household functions to maintain cleanliness of the home and to ensure the health and safety of the membership and their families, including for purposes of disposing of trash and using laundry services.
  • To engage in other essential activities as authorized in writing by the Executive Office after consultation with the Tribe’s Incident Command Team.

 

 

The order also restricts the following:

 

  • All public and private gatherings of five or more people.
  • All visitors on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation (“Reservation”) located on Tribal or Trust land are directed to return home. For purposes of this order a visitor is a person who is not a tribal member, is not an invited guest of a tribal member, does not maintain his or her permanent home on tribal or trust land on the Reservation, or who is not an employee of the Tribe.

 

No visitors will be allowed to come on the Reservation, other than to pass through on a county, state, or federal highway, except for the following purposes:

 

  • To provide medical or home care.
  • To provide emergency services.
  • To provide and allow for the continuation of essential and critical government services as determined by the Tribe.
  • To provide deliveries of water.
  • To provide deliveries of oil, natural gas, and other fuel for personal and tribal use.
  • To provide for delivery of food, pharmaceutical products, and any other essential personal and household products.
  • To provide for essential household and building maintenance, safety, and sanitation.
  • To provide for vehicle maintenance.
  • To participate in legal proceedings in the Southern Ute Tribal court.
  • For public transportation such as taxis and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for purposed expressly authorized in this Order.
  • For the delivery of mail by the postal service and other shipping services.
  • For the delivery of groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences or other businesses.
  • To provide professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally necessary activities such as representation in court or preparation of estate planning documents.
  • To provide any additional essential services to tribal members and authorized residents on Trust or Tribal land.

 

Any individual who exhibits symptoms must isolate themselves.

 

The Call Center has modified its hours to 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., 7 days a week. The Call Center is strictly an information gathering and dissemination resource for the tribal membership during this time.

 

If you are a tribal member and concerned about your symptoms, please contact your primary care provider or call the Southern Ute Health Center at 970.563.4581 to speak with a health care professional.

 

###

20200324 – Southern Ute Indian Tribe Increases Safety Measures and Issues Stay at Home Order FINAL (002)

20200325 – Southern Ute Indian Tribe Issues Stay at Home Order

 

 

 

Avoiding Coronavirus Scams and Price Gouging

Avoiding Coronavirus Scams and Price Gouging

Hand sanitizer at $67 a bottle.  Toilet paper at $15 a roll.  Unfortunately, we have seen instances of this in our stores and on the internet. As with any public crisis, when concerns over the coronavirus increase, there will be some people who prey on people’s fears for their personal financial advantage.  But what can we do about it?

First, if you see someone price gouging, report it.  The Colorado Attorney General’s Office is collecting information on individuals and stores that are taking advantage of people’s fears through overcharging the public for necessary products.  You can reach the Attorney General’s office by phone at 1-800-222-4444 or go online to report the incident at stopfraudcolorado.gov.   In addition, you can contact the Southern Ute Legal Department at (970) 563-2141 and they can assist you in reaching out to the Attorney General.

The Department of Justice also has a division to investigate Disaster Fraud. You can reach the Disaster Fraud at 1-877-720-5721, or online at justice.gov, or email disaster@leo.gov.

Second, beware of scams.  Now that more and more people are confined to their homes, we are seeing an increase in telephone and computer scams. Often these are promising treatments for the coronavirus for a price. Currently there are no medical treatments for the virus and any promised treatments over the phone or internet are fake. Like the incidents of price gouging, if you see or experience this, report it to the Attorney General or the Legal Department.

Finally, be careful with emails that claim to be from the World Health Organization or other group promising a vaccine or test for the virus. Delete it. This is what is called a phishing scam.  If you click on the email, the person who sent it will try to gain access to personal information on your computer.

As always, if you have any questions or need any assistance, please contact a member of Tribal Council, the Executive Office, or the Legal Department.

 

20200325 – Avoiding Coronavirus Scams and Price Gouging

Summary of Continuing Core Services for the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Membership During COVID-19

Summary of Continuing Core Services for the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Membership During COVID-19

As of March 24, 2020

In response to the rapidly developing events surrounding COVID-19, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Permanent Fund government will modify the programs and services to ensure the protection and safety of tribal members, tribal employees, and our community. The identified operations have been modified in accordance with the recommendations made by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) which includes guidelines for social distancing and restrictions on congregated groups no larger than 10 people, and at least 6 feet apart. Social distancing also includes limits on person-to-person contact, group meetings, and other social activities.

The non-essential functions have been identified and a comprehensive list of modified services and hours of operations are detailed below.

Please be advised this information is subject to change. Tribal staff will continue updating the document as modifications to tribal services and tribal business are necessary.

 

Summary of SUIT core services (As of 3.24.2020)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Southern Ute Indian Tribe Issues ‘Stay at Home’ Advisory

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Christine Sage, Chairman – 970.563.0100

Amy Barry, SUIT IMT PIO – 970.563.2281

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2020 – 07:30 P.M.

 

Southern Ute Indian Tribe Issues ‘Stay at Home’ Advisory

Southern Ute Indian Reservation –

Please see below for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s ‘Stay at Home’ Advisory. Through the advisory, the Tribe reaffirms the importance of slowing down the spread of COVID-19. The Tribe urges all residents of the Reservation to do their part by staying at home unless it is to engage in an essential activity.

 

What does it mean when we say it is ok to engage in an essential activity? Here are some guidelines.

 

  1. You should not engage in in any public or private gatherings of more than 5 people except if those individuals are direct family members or children or elders under your care.
  2. You should not engage in any travel outside the home except for:
  • Care for elders, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or other vulnerable people.
  • Going to or from educational facilities to support distance learning or to get meals or related services.
  • Travel required by law enforcement or court order.
  • To obtain medical supplies or medication or to visit a health-care professional for yourself, a family member or a pet.
  • To get supplies to work from home.
  • To buy food, pet supplies and essential household products for yourself, a household member or a family member.
  • To go to work in an essential business or service as determined by your employer or a governmental authority.
  • To engage in outdoor activities like walking, hiking, biking, running or walking a dog. You must maintain a safe social distance from others. Group sports are prohibited.
  • To care for a family member or pet in another household.
  • To engage in banking or other financial transactions.

 

Tribal Council is continuously assessing and taking necessary measures to respond to this rapidly-changing and serious public health emergency.  At this time the Tribal Council is encouraging voluntary compliance with these instructions. Should it be necessary to protect public health, the Tribal Council will consider a mandatory stay at home order. For that reason, the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council urges all tribal members to listen for radio announcements, check the Tribe’s official Facebook site, or call the Call Center at 970.563.0214 for the most-up-to-date information. The Tribe will make every effort to keep the membership informed.

 

###

 

20200323 – PR – Southern Ute Indian Tribe Issues ‘Stay at Home’ Advisory

0030_001

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Chairman Christine Sage restricts tribal operations to limit exposure of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Christine Sage, Chairman – 970.563.0100

Amy Barry, SUIT IMT PIO – 970.563.2281

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 22, 2020 – 07:30 P.M.

 

Chairman Christine Sage restricts tribal operations to limit exposure of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Southern Ute Indian Reservation –

On Sunday, March 22, 2020 Southern Ute Tribal Chairman, Christine Sage along with Southern Ute Tribal Council, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Incident Management Team (IMT) and tribal entities, ordered the Southern Ute Indian Tribe to modify tribal government services and business operations. The Southern Ute Tribal Permanent Fund, Southern Ute Growth Fund, Southern Ute Shared Services and positions within the Sky Ute Casino Resort have been directed to work remotely unless otherwise communicated. Critical functions have been revised and only critical tribal staff must report to their workstations. This will be effective Monday, March 23, 2020.

The directives are as follows:

  • Identified tribal staff who reside in the State of New Mexico will be required to work remotely beginning tomorrow, Monday, March 23, 2020 with exception Southern Ute law enforcement agencies and tribal staff in some operations within the Southern Ute Growth Fund and key Southern Ute Shared Services infrastructure staff.
  • According to a public service announcement issued from the IMT sent on Friday, March 20, 2020, all tribal staff who voluntarily travel outside of the identified safety area (including San Juan County, NM) will be placed on a 14-day self-quarantine symptom watch period.
  • If symptoms arise and/or COVID-19 is suspected, the employee is required to consult their primary healthcare provider for COVID-19 screening or access telemedicine consultation services from Anthem found here (https://livehealthonline.com).
  • Tribal members who have traveled outside of a 50-mile radius are strongly encouraged to self-quarantine for 14 days for their own health and safety as well as that of members of their household and the tribal community.
  • Staff from the Southern Ute Permanent Fund are not expected to report to their workstations. All staff needed to perform critical operations will begin working remotely on Monday, March 23, 2020. Exceptions include designated tribal personnel from the following departments: Tribal Information Services, Clean Team, Grounds Maintenance, Food Distribution, Legal Department, Southern Ute Police Department, Southern Ute Detention Center, Division of Gaming, Southern Ute Tribal Rangers, Southern Ute Health Center, and SunUte Community Center (operating as the Southern Ute COVID-19 Call Center; SunUte facilities will be closed otherwise.)
  • Staff from the Southern Ute Growth Fund are not expected to report to their workstations and should begin working remotely on Monday, March 23, 2020. Exceptions include designated tribal personnel from the following operations: Southern Ute Utilities, essential operations/maintenance personnel related to natural gas production and mid-stream operations, and critical support staff as needed. Growth Fund personnel shall implement the required health screening prior to entering a Growth Fund location.
  • Staff from the Southern Ute Shared Services are not expected to report to their workstations and instead should begin working remotely on Monday, March 23, 2020. Exceptions include designated critical I.T. infrastructure staff.
  • The Sky Ute Casino Resort will cease all operations on Monday, March 23, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. The hotel, all dining operations, gaming operations, and bowling alley will be closed. All events will be postponed.
  • All staff needed to perform critical services and work remotely that need additional resources should notify their immediate supervisor who will work with the chain of command, SUSS, and the IMT to resolve all logistical issues. This is especially applicable to computer needs and remote connectivity.
  • All staff identified for IMT operations and meetings must be available to assist the IMT when requested.
  • All Tribal buildings will be on lockdown with no public access.
  • This will remain in effect until further notice.

A summary of continuing core services for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe during the COVID-19 outbreak can be found on the tribal websites, tribal social media, with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe COVID-19 Call Center, on KSUT Tribal radio, and by mail.

Southern Ute Indian Tribe COVID-19 Call Center

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe COVID-19 Call Center will remain active through the duration of the modified government services being provided. Tribal members can reach the call center by dialing 970.563.0214. Calls regarding medical concerns should use extensions 2651 and 2654; calls with general questions or concerns should use extensions 2652 and 2667. Call center hours of operation are 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., 7 days a week until further direction is mandated by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe (IMT). In additional to fielding calls, the call center will be making proactive calls to Tribal Elders, the disabled and high-risk tribal membership.

Tribal Staff Self-Screening Protocol

Southern Ute Tribal staff identified to report to their workstations are required to take their temperature with a thermometer to accurately provide symptom information. If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, including COVID-19 symptoms, staff must call their supervisor and consult their primary healthcare provider for COVID-19 screening or access the telemedicine consultation services from Anthem found here (https://livehealthonline.com) If your response is “no” to all questions and symptoms, staff are required to report to work.

Exposure-related Questions

  • Have you traveled in the last two weeks, if yes, where?
  • Has any member of your family traveled anywhere in the last two weeks, if yes, where?
  • Have you or a family member been in contact with a COVID-19 positive patient?

Are you currently experiencing any of the following symptoms?

  • Fever of 100.4 degrees or higher
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Abnormal fatigue

 

“As the Tribal Chairman, I hold the lives of the tribal staff, tribal membership, and their families, as well as the tribal resources in my hands. Making the decision to modify tribal services and business operations to an even greater degree was made by prioritizing the health, safety and welfare of the entire tribal membership and tribal staff. We each have a responsibility to attempt to limit the exposure of COVID-19, especially to the Tribal Elders and the high-risk population of the Southern Ute Tribal membership and our community. Modifying tribal services and business operations and asking tribal staff to work from home will help “flatten the curve”, thereby reducing the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19, and putting additional stress on the healthcare system. Please stay home, take this time to enjoy your loved ones. This time can be spent sharing our traditions and culture with those in your household,” stated Chairman Sage.

If you are a tribal member and concerned about your symptoms, please contact your primary care provider or call the Southern Ute Health Center at 970.563.4581 to speak with a health care professional.

###

 

20200322 – Chairman Christine Sage restricts in-person tribal operations to limit exposure of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

NEWS RELEASE: Tribe to cease non-essential tribal government operations due to outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Christine Sage, Chairman – 970.563.0100

Amy Barry, SUIT IMT PIO – 970.563.2281

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 20, 2020 – 11:00A.M.

 

Tribe to cease non-essential tribal government operations due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – The Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Incident Management Team (IMT) continue to work on the organizational response to the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as stated in the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council release dated Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

In response to the rapidly developing events surrounding COVID-19 the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Permanent Fund government will modify the programs and services to ensure the protection and safety of tribal members, tribal employees, and our community. This decision was not made hastily, rather through dialogue with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s IMT, local, state, and federal healthcare agencies. Key Permanent Fund staff have been delegated the responsibility of identifying critical government operations. The identified operations will be modified in accordance with the recommendations made by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) which includes social distancing and congregated groups no larger than 10 people and at least 6 feet apart. Social distancing includes limits on person-to-person contact, group meetings, and other social activities.

The Southern Ute Permanent Fund non-essential functions have also been identified. If staff have not already been identified by the IMT or delegated by the tribal administration to carry out specific business, will be directed to remain home and safe until further notice is given. A list of specific service modifications will be forthcoming.

The Southern Ute Growth Fund is also operating via a modified business continuity plan. On Tuesday, March 17, 2020 all non-essential staff were identified and began working remotely.

The Sky Ute Casino Resort has temporarily closed the gaming operations, Rolling Thunder Grill, Rolling Thunder Lanes, Seven Rivers Bingo Hall, Seven Rivers Steak Seafood Spirits and Shining Mountain Café. The hotel and restaurant, Willows Café Bistro, will remain open until further notice. Willows Café Bistro will operate from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., 7 days a week. The hotel fitness center and pool will be closed.

The three priorities of the IMT remain the task at hand. The Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council continues to prioritize communication with the tribal membership as the details of the COVID-19 progresses.

The Southern Ute COVID-19 Call Center will remain live through the duration of the modified government services being provided.  The call center hours of operation are 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., 7 days a week until further direction is mandated by the Incident Management Team (IMT). In addition to fielding calls, the call center will be making proactive calls to Tribal Elders, the disabled, and high-risk tribal membership.

If you are a tribal member and concerned about your symptoms, please contact your primary care provider or call the Southern Ute Health Center at 970.563.4581 to speak with a health care professional.

 

** This information is being released in conjunction with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Incident Management Team Public Information Officer (PIO), Ms. Amy Barry.

 

###

 

20200320 – Tribe to cease non-essential tribal government operations due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Southern Ute Indian Tribe response to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

Southern Ute Indian Tribe response to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 18, 2020 – 02:00 P.M.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Christine Sage, Chairman – 970.563.0100

Amy Barry, SUIT IMT PIO – 970.563.2281

 

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – The Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council, in conjunction with the enacted Southern Ute Indian Tribe Incident Management Team (IMT), has been diligently working on the organizational response to the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Tribal information has been detailed in a video that is now available on the Tribal Facebook. Identical information has been transcribed in three documents (letter addressed to the tribal membership, Q&A on COVID-19, and Q&A on Tribal Resources) and have been made available on the tribal websites (both the public website and the Tribal Member Portal), to KSUT Tribal Radio, and on the Tribe’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The Southern Ute Indian Tribe IMT has established a Call Center for both medical and general questions related to COVID-19. Individuals should dial 970.563.0214 and input extensions 2651 and 2654 for all medical related questions and extensions 2652 and 2667 for all general questions.

The Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council would also like to provide confidential financial information to the Tribal Membership to address concerns and respond to questions. This information will be available in the following ways: on the Tribal Member Portal and upon request. Requests for this information can be made to Tribal Council Communication Specialist, Ms. Lindsay J. Box at 970.563.2313 or via email at lbox@southernute-nsn.gov.

If you are a tribal member and concerned about your symptoms, please contact your primary care provider or call the Southern Ute Health Center at 970.563.4581 to speak with a health care professional.

 

** This information is being released in conjunction with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Incident Management Team Public Information Officer (PIO), Ms. Amy Barry.

 

###

Tribal Members should head to the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Facebook page to find the video in which Tribal Council addresses the Tribe’s response to the recent outbreak and sharing of tribal resource information.

A hard copy version can be found below:

Letter to the Membership

Q&A on COVID-19

Q&A Tribal ResourcesLetter to the Membership