Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Southern Ute Tribe (Colorado)
Posted: April 4, 2020

The Southern Ute Tribe confirmed the first two COVID-19 cases within the community on March 29, 2020.

The individuals are employed by the tribe, according to a news release. A subsequent post on social media said both are “not tribal members.”

According to the post, “the Southern Ute Indian Tribe is working with San Juan Basin Public Health and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to identify individuals who may have come in contact with the two tribal personnel for notification of self-quarantine and self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.”

The tribe has since implemented “health screening” for employees. The tests started on March 31, according to a post on social media.

“A nurse will take a temperature and give the employee a clearance form to present to their supervisor,” the post from the tribal council’s communications specialist stated. “This is a temporary measure.”

The first confirmed COVID-19 cases prompted Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) to ask the Trump administration to ensure tribes have enough testing kits, He directed his March 31 request to the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

“The federal government needs to fulfill its trust responsibility to tribal governments and ensure they have access to the resources they need,” Gardner wrote. “It is crucial that FEMA provides a sufficient amount of testing kits both to the state of Colorado and to our tribal communities in order to ensure that they are able to respond to the grave threat that COVID-19 poses.”

The tribe recommended the use of face coverage for people in the community in an April 2 release. A stay at home order was issued March 25.


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