On Thursday, April 8, the new Tribal COVID Resource Page went live on the Southern Ute tribal member portal. This page will have the most up to date information, financial resources, as well as educational material for the membership to access. Access is limited to enrolled tribal members only. https://members.southernute-nsn.gov/tribal-member-covid-19-resources/
Phase II “Safer at Home”, Level 3 has been in effect since Monday, March 29, 2021 following the approval of the Southern Ute Tribal Council. Phase II is a less restrictive phase and will help the community move forward in the latest tribe-wide recovery plans. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected many tribal communities and this “Safer at Home” phase is the next step towards returning to business as usual, pre-pandemic.
Currently all tribal buildings and offices are closed to the public, entrances to these buildings will remain locked. Staff members are allowed in the buildings to prepare for future reopening procedures. In person services are not allowed at this time, the Tribe is prioritizing the health and safety of the tribal membership and its staff.
Anticipated dates of reopening are still to be determined. Reopening is contingent on the data, especially if COVID-19 cases continue to rise and hospitalizations increase in the surrounding counties. Tribal Council has the ultimate authority on when phases are implemented, those phases can and will fluctuate with the virus data.
“As the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, the Southern Ute IMT and the community continue to assess and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic it is most important to remember the health and safety guidelines that have been established for the government and its people it serves,” stated Amy Barry, IMT Communications Team. “It is imperative to continue to educate our tribal community on the pandemic and promote all proactive measures to prevent the spread locally.”
By providing consistent testing and offering vaccinations to the community the collected data can help to identify where any potential outbreaks can or have occurred.
The first priority is safety and any proactive, preventative measures recommended by the government in collaboration with the IMT for final approval from tribal leadership. “We want to encourage the community and those eligible for testing and vaccinations to continue to partner with the Tribe and the State of Colorado on the march to return to normalcy at some point,” stated Barry.
Not only is the Tribe responsible for a wide range of governmental services on and along the exterior boundaries of the reservation, but they are also responsible for the law enforcement, public safety and social services of the Tribe.
Below are updated summaries of some modified tribal services to the tribal membership approved by the Southern Ute Tribal Council and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Incident Management Team (IMT).
- The Southern Ute Tribal Council and Executive Staff can now be onsite for regular meetings.
- The Optometry clinic will resume full hours (8 a.m – 5 p.m.) on Thursday, April 15.
- Tribal Courts will be operational Monday – Thursday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and the public may speak to a Court Clerk on Fridays during business hours.
- Emergency Family Services is now going to have in person coverage in the office Monday- Friday from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and will be teleworking from 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
- Tribal Services will have in person coverage in the office Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- The Utilities Transfer Station is now open Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Help stop the spread of the virus, continue to practice good hygiene by washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, cover your coughs and sneezes into the bend of your elbow or into a tissue. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects in your home. Continue social distancing and wearing a mask. Keep one another safe, stay home and stay connected with your loved ones and tribal elders.