Updated Summary of continuing Core Services for the Southern Ute membership during Covid-19

Southern Ute Indian Tribe Tribal Seal
Photo Credit: Southern Ute Indian Tribe

Updated on July 13, 2021 

The Southern Ute Tribal Council and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Incident Management Team (IMT) would like to provide an updated summary of modified tribal services to the tribal membership. The Tribe remains under the ‘’Safer at Home Order” remains in effect until further notice.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Tribe to make changes to the services and programs provided to the tribal membership to ensure the protection and safety of the tribal members, tribal employees, and our community. The modified tribal services explained below have been approved by the IMT and adhere to the ‘Stay at Home’ Order and Human Resource’s policies and procedures.  

Please continue to follow the tips and guidelines set in place to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for staying home, washing your hands, wearing your face covering and staying in contact with your loved ones and friends. We will get through this together. 

If you have questions on continued government services being provided and hours of operations detailed below, please continue to call the main government line at 970-563-0100, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. for clarification of services or to be transferred to your respective tribal department as the government continues to operate within approved protocols, phases and metrics. 



Hours of Operation: All Tribal Court services shall be available by telephone and email Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (closed for lunch from 12 – 1 p.m.). The Tribal Court Clerk’s window is open for in-person business only Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. The Court will keep updated information on the telephone answering service 970-563-0240. 

Motions or pleadings can be submitted at the Clerk’s window during modified hours or by email (Tribal Court will be accepting filings by email given the current circumstances and the filing fee should be mailed), mail, or fax. 

For all civil trial matters, the standard practice is by remote technology (Zoom/telephone). Upon request of a party, the judge may allow in-person testimony. If in-person testimony or appearances are required, then the Court may set the cases for a future date when such appearances may be hosted in a safe manner.  

Emergency hearings or hearings required to be heard by law shall be held, but courtroom appearances shall be minimized to the extent possible. Requests for in-person hearings must be submitted in advance such that the Court can make necessary arrangements.  

For all criminal cases, the judges will establish procedures to maximize the ability of criminal defendants to appear remotely where constitutionally and legally permissible.  

Attorneys and the public are encouraged to communicate with the Court via email, remote technology and telephone to avoid any unnecessary appearances at the Southern Ute Tribal Court.  

Child Support – No child support will be available for pick-up at the Tribal Court. All child support checks will be mailed to the recipients by the Finance Department.  

Probation Office – Available by telephone Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The window at the Probation Office is open Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. 

Family Court Support Office – available by telephone Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. In-person and remote services are provided, depending upon safety concerns and urgency of the situation.  

Please remit any criminal or traffic payments using the Tribal Court’s online payment system found at, if possible. 

Until further notice, the Tribal Court will require either proof of an approved COVID-19 vaccination or a face covering/mask must be worn in the Southern Ute Tribal Court. 



Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  

The processing of monthly tribal distribution payments will continue as normal, including communications with membership for changes to method of payment (check /direct deposit), any other changes, and answering questions. All checks/advances will be mailed. Checks will not be available for pick up at the tribal offices. Minors trust account services will continue. All checks/advances will be mailed.  

Tribal Credit – To help mitigate the continued financial hardship to the tribal membership caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tribal Credit division presented an additional waiver of policy option which Tribal Council approved on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, via Resolution No. (2020-088) and effective on Wednesday, July 15, 2020. This resolution increased the line-of-credit loan limit from $8,000 to $10,000 for every enrolled tribal over the age of 21. It also increases the line-of-credit for tribal members ages 18 through 21 from $3,000 to $5,000.  

The new waiver of policy will allow for eligible tribal members to request additional monies up to the increased loan limit. This policy waiver is effective for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. Also approved in the policy waiver is a revised amortization schedule, lengthening the term of the loan to keep repayment amounts similar to those pre-pandemic.  

In addition to the policy waiver, Tribal Credit made the following changes to the procedural steps in processing Line-of-Credit loans.  

Applications may be taken over the phone, and a signature from the applicant will not be required.  

Final loan documents will require applicant signature but will not require a notary.  

All checks/direct deposits will be available only on Fridays of each week.  

Applications must be received by Tuesday at 3 p.m., and loan documents must be finalized and signed by the following day, Wednesday at 3 p.m. to be processed by Friday of that week. If the application is not received or documentation completed by the deadlines, loans will be processed the following week.  

For questions, please contact the Tribal Credit Division Head at 970-563-2458 or via email at Tribal Credit is continuing to work remotely while the tribal “Stay at Home” Order remains in effect.  

Applications will be taken over the phone and will not require tribal member signature. Final loan documents will still require tribal member signature, but not require a notary. Signed documents may be received through email, fax, or regular mail. The deadline for submitting applications will be Tuesday at 3 p.m. each week; applications received after that time will be processed the following week. Loan checks/advances will be mailed Friday of each week.  

Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable (AP/AR) – The cashier window will be closed. Accounts Payable will process as normal. Someone from AP/AR will be in the office on an as-needed, emergent basis to process rush medical emergency checks when needed. Accounts Receivable will process as normal but remotely. Signed repayment agreements may be received through email, fax, or regular mail.  

CARES Act Relief Grant Program – Tribal Council has approved the CARES Act Relief Grant program to assist the tribal membership with the financial hardships caused by the pandemic. The grant cannot exceed $2,000 per each enrolled tribal member. However, tribal members can apply for more than one grant, but the combined total may not exceed $2,000. The final deadline to apply for a grant is December 15, 2020. 

The grant proceeds must be used for basic living expenses incurred from March 7, 2020 through December 30, 2020. Examples of basic living expenses include rent, home mortgage, insurance, utilities (such as water, gas, sewer, electricity, and/or any overdue balances associated with utility services), cost of home-schooling children, childcare, and food. Tribal members will need to be able to document these expenses, and the total request cannot exceed $2,000 per individual. In addition, you will be required to certify that the information you provide in the application is correct. If you are applying on behalf of an enrolled minor, please include a separate application for each minor. Payment made on behalf of minors will be paid to the custodial parent or guardian with whom the minor is living. The grant award will be made via check or direct deposit following the same method as is used for your regular tribal distribution. Checks or direct deposit notices will be mailed to the address on file that is used for your tribal distribution. You may designate that the grant, or a portion thereof, be used to pay your utility bill with Southern Ute Utilities. There will be a place on the application to make this request. The Tribe has made every effort to classify these funds as non-taxable. However, there is no guarantee as to how the IRS will treat the grant for tax purposes. If these funds are determined to be taxable, you will receive an IRS form 1099-MISC from the Tribe next February showing the amount of the grant that was reported to the IRS.  If you have any questions, please contact the following: Barbara Prestel 970-563-2260 Tracy Swartz 970-563-2437 Linda Winkler 970-563-2443. 

Purchasing – Purchasing will process as normal remotely. 

Contracts and Grants – All aspects of contracts and grants management will continue as normal.   

Budgeting and Planning – All aspects of FY2021 budget planning will continue.  



Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

The Cultural Preservation Department staff are working both onsite and remotely. All phones are forwarded to staff who will be able to answer calls. Staff are rotating their days in the office and working remotely. All staff are available to answer any questions, concerns and accept ideas from the Membership. 

There are classes being offered for the youth and adults starting in July 2021, which are in person.  

All events and activities associated with the 100th Annual Tribal Fair and Powwow have been postponed until 2022. 



Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  

By appointment only for Higher and Public Education. 

SUIMA – The Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy (SUIMA) will begin the 2021-2022 Academic Year for students on Monday, August 30, 2021. Instruction will be limited to remote learning only, on-campus learning is unavailable at this time. SUIMA will host (online/in-person) classroom orientation on Thursday, August 26, 2021 The orientation will provide introductions, explain how remote learning will be conducted, provide a demonstration of online learning tools (including log-in instructions), and answer any questions. Chromebooks will be available to Kindergarteners and Lower and Upper Elementary students;  Parents/Guardians should request a Chromebook during the orientation. SUIMA will use Google Classroom to deliver Remote Learning lessons. Online academic programs such as Freckle and Lexia will be accessible for K-6 grade.   

SUIMA will continue to work on a schedule for households with multiple students who have a limited number of devices available at the same time. For students who do not checkout a Chromebook or who do not have the means to learn remotely, SUIMA will prepare hard-copy packets on a weekly basis. Please contact SUIMA Administration if your student will require a hard-copy packet and to receive the packet as part of the pick-up process.   

Both breakfast and lunch will be provided to students by signing up with SUIMA Kitchen Manager, Geneva Watts-Gomez, at 970-563-2770 or SUIMA Administrative Assistant, Ilene Chavez, at 970-563-0253. 

If the Tribe approves reopening the school for on-campus learning, families will be notified. 

Higher Education – Higher Education will work remotely advising student through email, regular mail, and phone calls. GED and Adult Education lessons will be provided through emails and phone calls.  

Public Education – Public Education will work remotely providing tutoring and student support through appointments emails, text, and phone calls. There is partial funding available if students need assistance with technology and other educational needs.  

Enrolled Southern Ute tribal members can access the Computer Purchase Cost Share program. For more information on the program, please contact Mrs. Ellen Baker at 970-563-0235 or via email at  



Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  

Staff will remain on-call for emergencies.  

In addition to staff continuing to work remotely and on an on-call and emergent basis, all major electrical, plumbing, sewer, gas, and HVAC systems will continue to be addressed by staff. In addition to emergencies, CSD will be responding to requests for swamp cooler issues, minor water drips on plumbing fixtures, non-emergent electrical requests and basic small repair. Please call the Southern Ute Police Department Dispatch at 970-563-4401 for household emergencies. 

Staff may ask the tribal membership to leave the home or isolate in a spare room while work is taking place. Staff will respond to emergency requests at the Cedar Point Townhomes. Rent payments and processing will continue and must be post marked by the 5th of the month and mailed to the attention of the Cashier in Finance. Office phones will be forwarded to staff who can walk the membership through some basic repair tasks.  



Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

Southern Ute Police Department – The Southern Ute Police Department (SUPD) will continue to provide law enforcement services, radio communications (911), criminal investigations, and victim services during this time.  

Division of Gaming – Division of Gaming investigators has resumed its regulatory duties of the Shy Ute Casino Resort. The regulator currently works  

Southern Ute Detention Center – The detention center will continue to provide services for inmates. Effective immediately, all visitation is suspended. This includes all contact and non-contact visits. educational and religious PBT breath samples for courts and probation have been reinstated. Food and supply deliveries will be dropped at the Sally Port behind the kitchen. The driver will not enter the facility as trustees and staff will bring supplies into the kitchen. Office supplies will be dropped at the main administrative entrance. No one will be allowed access to the facility other than SUDC staff that is scheduled to work that day. SUPD, SUSS, Los Piños Fire Protection District, and maintenance are allowed to enter the facility on an as needed basis. SUDC will continue to house and accept contract inmates. New contract inmates will be accepted after proof of a negative test within 48hrs of admittance. Bail bondsman will be permitted into the Sally Port but will not enter the facility. Anyone who enters the facility including bondsman in the Sally Port will be screened and asked if they have exhibited any symptoms of COVID-19.  

Tribal Rangers – Tribal Rangers will continue to patrol the reservation and serve as first responders. Animal Control Officers will continue to provide services for the community.  

Environmental Programs Division – Environmental Services will work remotely with the exception of monitoring stations for air quality and water quality within the boundaries of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.  

Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO) – TERO’s hours of operation will be Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. – 12 p.m. are current in office hours. Departmental phones will be transferred to the staff and the main line will be transferred to the TERO Division Head cell phone. This includes lawn maintenance service request and communication to lawn maintenance staff. The direct line is 970-563-0117. 



Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

Custodial Services – Custodial Services is one of the most vital departments operating at this time and will continue to provide services anywhere buildings are in use.  

Motor Pool – Motor Pool is scheduling services Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  

Building Maintenance – Building maintenance Is scheduling work orders Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. with after hour emergency coverage.  

Grounds Maintenance – Grounds maintenance is on site for maintenance needs Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  



Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

Tribal Health Services is the most critical department providing services to the tribal membership during this time. Please continue to call the Southern Ute Health Center prior to your arrival; this practice is for the health and protection of both the patients and health care providers.  

Southern Ute Health Center – The Health Center will be open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Respiratory ailment screenings will be conducted in the tent located behind the Southern Ute Health Center beginning at 8 a.m. All specialty medical clinics are by appointment only; lab hours of operation will be Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (except during the lunch hour from 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.). Pharmacy hours of operation are from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (except during the lunch hour from 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.), however patients are not allowed access to the pharmacy through the clinic, they must use the outside service window. Physical Therapy appointments will be made from 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. as requested. 

Dental Clinic – The dental clinic will see patients Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. by appointment only.  

Optometry – Optometry emergency services are being provided on Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., by appointment. The direct line is 970-563-2374. 

Behavioral Health – Behavioral health appointments can be scheduled both in person and by telehealth (either over the phone or through video), by appointment only.  

Public Health Nurse & Community Health Representatives (CHR) – The public health nurse and CHR’s will provide medication deliveries, non-emergent medical transport, home visits, and case management as needed. Dialysis transports will continue.  

Shining Mountain Health and Wellness – The Shining Mountain Health and Wellness staff modified scope of work continues, SMHW will reach out to clients by phone and clients will be seen by appointment only.  



Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

Administration – TIS staff will work full-time and continue to process mail for the tribal government, answer and transfer incoming calls to tribal departments, and provide services daily. 

Mail service remains available. TIS will continue to meet the needs of tribal departments who have tasks that involve postage.  The schedule created to address tribal government mail delivery and mail pick up will be, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday mail run at 8:30 a.m., followed by daily mail runs at 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. The only exception would be if the last day of the month or first day of the month falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, we will come in to do the postage and deliver the mail to the post office in the morning. 

Vital Statistics – Vital Statistics will continue to process enrollment applications, certificate of Indian blood (CIB), tax exemption forms, and notary public services. Services will be available on Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the Central Receiving building by curbside appointment only.  

The Southern Ute Drum – The Southern Ute DRUM will continue to maintain production and provide special coverage on the COVID-19 outbreak and other current issues.  

The Drum newspaper resumed printing in 2020 and will continue be on newsstands and in mailboxes. The Drum will also continue to be available online as an e-Edition at The Southern Ute Drum will adhere to the publication schedules and print deadlines for 2021, in order to share relevant news and information with the Southern Ute tribal membership, tribal departments and community in the best and most efficient way possible. 



Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

Emergency Family Services (EFS) – EFS is encouraging clients to utilize the online application and submission process to limit the in-office exposure. EFS is working with Farmers Fresh and The Grocery Store to accept applications from EFS online through email so tribal members can receive food vouchers at the store. All clients must call ahead to request funds available to them. Clients will need to contact EFS through the phone at 970-563-2329. EFS will be working in collaboration with Elders Services to provide applications to/from Tribal Elders and/or disabled clients for assistance. EFS is also temporarily modifying services for off-reservation tribal members by providing the option of receiving $200 or $100 for grocery, as long as funds are available.  

Elders Services – Elders Services will continue normal operation hours of Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., however limited service for medical, grocery and household necessity delivery, and emergency services will be provided. Medical transport will be provided only for doctor appointments scheduled as of Friday, March 18, 2020, as well as medical emergencies. Staff will continue to deliver medication, groceries, bill pay, and post office runs within the approved safety zones. Elders Services has the right to refuse medical transport based on approved screening questions and a doctor’s recommendation. Staff will implement safe contact practices with Tribal Elders by phone. In-person visits will be available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and must adhere to the tribal policy and practice of social distancing based on recommendations from the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Incident Management Team. Elders Services staff will work with other programs within the Tribal Services Department to coordinate services for Tribal Elders/Members with disabilities.  

Food Distribution – Food Distribution is encouraging people to apply online. Staff are currently developing an online, pdf-fillable application and, upon completion, will be placed on the tribal website. Home delivery orders will be taken over the phone. Priority will be given to the elderly and disabled tribal membership. Participants will call in food orders and receive a time to pick-up their order. Entry will be through the back gate, guests will review the order in the loading area, sign in receipt of food, and exit through the front gate.  

Vocational Rehabilitation – Vocational Rehabilitation will provide consumer meetings via phone or email and collaborative meetings with local vendors and resources via conference call, Zoom, and other technology services.  

Social Services – Social Services will provide immediate response to client calls, emergencies, and continued collaboration with the Southern Ute Police Department. The tribal hotline for child abuse and neglect will continue to be available. Therapy sessions will be provided over the phone, through Facetime or Skype, and home visits as needed. 



Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

The Department of Natural Resources will provide ongoing duties that are essential for continuity of operations and maintaining the Tribe’s business interests. The department will consider emergency meetings only. 

GIS – is on campus in the Annex Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. to provide services to the tribal membership as well as the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Incident Management Team as requested 

Lands Division – The Lands Division provides land assignment administration, processing Rights-of-Way, on-sites, and commercial crossing permit issuance on an as-needed basis. Lands staff partially teleworks with limited in-office staff, Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm. Call-in appointments for curb-side assistance is provided for Tribal Members and entities in need of Crossing Permits. The Lands Administrative Assistant is in the office Monday and Wednesday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  

Agriculture Division – The Agriculture Division Office is open to the public 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. daily. All staff are on-site for a 40 hour per week schedule except for the Administrative Assistant who is on-site 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  

Water Resources Division – Water Resources will continue to provide irrigation support services and water administration.  

Range Division – The Range Division is providing all services historically provided to the membership prior to the Covid outbreak. Office hours are 8am-5pm, Monday thru Friday. 

Forestry Division – Forestry will provide firewood services (October – April), ceremonial firewood services, ceremonial events preparation (Bear Dance and Sun Dance), project work preparation (field work), in-house thinning, wildland fire management, forestry contract administration, firewood/forest product permitting, IMT planning, staff is onsite Monday – Friday, and the Administrative Assistant is onsite Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.  

Wildlife Resources – Wildlife will continue to provide bison heard management, hunting/fishing licenses Tribal member only, and Lake Capote dam early warning system monitoring. Bison meat will be available to the tribal membership by appointment only. Please call 970-563-0130 to schedule an appointment to pick-up bison meat. Hunting permits are currently being mailed to tribal hunters and appointments can still be made Tuesday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. 

Lake Capote is now open only to the general public on Thursday – Sunday; shoreline and dock fishing only; the Wildlife Division and Lake management have re-opened the restroom facilities and the shower-house in the campground, along the restrooms at the Baitshop; Bait shop sales are currently being facilitated. For Lake Capote questions, please call the Lake Manager at 970-883-2273 or The Southern Ute Wildlife Division at 970-563-0130. 



Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

Human Resources Department staff will work on site and remotely. HR staff are available by email and phone for assistance with employee benefits and employee questions/support.  Some meetings with HR staff are occurring and can be scheduled in advance. Risk Management continues to be involved in the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Incident Management Team and the COVID-19 response efforts. Some Risk Management and safety staff are working on site and remote. 



Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

The Internal Audit Department will work remotely and on the tribal campus to perform internal audit activities for the Permanent Fund, Growth Fund, SUSS, and Casino. The department will meet periodically with Tribal Council regarding those engagements.  



Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

Current Virtual mini-series programming, with activity supplies ends July 7, 2021 

Summer Club: July 12 – August 20, 2021 

The Boys & Girls Club will be providing in-person Summer Club, programs areas include: Arts & Culture, Leadership and Service, Education, Health and Wellness, Sports and Recreation. 

Monday – Friday: Check-in 7:30 a.m., Check-out by 5:30 p.m. 



Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

Splitting their time 50/50, the Tribal Planning staff are working from home and in the office.  They are available by phone and calls will be returned in 1 day.  The Annex is closed to the public, but small-group meetings can be scheduled, by prior appointment.  All planning staff are fully vaccinated.  



Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

The SunUte Community Center facilities are currently open to all Tribal Members and SunUte members. We will open to walk-ins on July 19, 2021. The hours-of-service area as follows: 

Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. (pool closed at 7 p.m.) 

Weekends, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (pool closes at 4:30 p.m.) 

Holidays hours will be announced through social media, TIS and our marquee.  

24/7 will be available on July 19, 2021 to vaccinated SunUte members only. Everyone will need to show proof of vaccination to the front desk and their membership card will be updated to allow entry to 24/7.  

All Ute Tribal Members receive a free SunUte membership. 

Please note that this plan is contingent upon meeting all safety requirements and keeping everyone safe.  



Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

The Prosecutor will attend court hearings as scheduled by the tribal court. The legal department will be available for child and elder protection services for the Department of Social Services and can be contacted by phone. Legal and administrative staff are working on-site and remotely at this time. 



Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

The Southern Ute Museum is currently closed but will work remotely and continue the caretaking of exhibits, collections, and archives. 



Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

The Permanent Fund Investments staff will generally work remotely to continue to manage the Tribe’s investment capital. The Chief Investment Officer is working from the office occasionally and is available for in-person meetings as needed. 

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