Top Stories

Summary of continuing core services for the Southern Ute tribal membership during Covid-19

Photo Credit: Southern Ute Indian Tribe

Updated on September 4, 2020

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 ‘Stay at Home’ Order and the order requiring the use of face coverings, both will remain 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 the modified services and hours of operations detailed below, please contact the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s COVID-19 Call Center at 970-563-0214, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.



Phone: 970-563-0240

Hours of Operation: Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed for lunch from 12 to 1 p.m.).

The Court shall be available for emergencies on Fridays and the public may speak to a Court Clerk from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays (closed for lunch from 12 to 1 p.m. )

The Southern Ute Indian Tribal Court will be held Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Hearings are held from 1:30 p.m. until all hearings have concluded. Any motions or pleadings can be submitted by email (tribal court will be accepting filings by email given the current circumstances and the filing fee should be mailed), mail, or fax. Currently, Web/Video Conferencing capabilities are being evaluated for potential implementation for Court operations.

The clerk’s office, probation services, and family court support office shall operate on minimal staffing. The attorneys and public are encouraged to communicate with the court via email or telephone to avoid any unnecessary appearances at the Southern Ute Tribal Court. Until further notice, the court will permit and require (as directed by the Southern Ute Tribe) persons to wear surgical masks and gloves in court. It is also permissible to bring small plastic containers of hand sanitizer into court and its probation and family court support offices. Please remit criminal or traffic payments using the Tribal Court’s online payment system found at

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 – Will maintain services but will be contacting probationers by phone.

Family Court Support Office – The Family Court Support Office will be available by phone only for emergency situations.

The clerk of the court shall keep updated information on the telephone answering service at 970-563-0240. The hours of operation may change as conditions require and if in the interest of the Southern Ute Tribe and its employees. Notice of the court’s hours of operation shall be posted on the door at the entrance to the Southern Ute Tribal Court and on its telephone answering system.



Phone: 970-563-0110

Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 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/advices will be mailed. Checks will not be available for pick up at the tribal offices. Minors trust account services will continue. All checks/advices 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/advices 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 Dec. 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 – 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.



Phone: 970-563-2983

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

The Cultural Preservation Department staff will be working remotely, but available via phone to respond to questions about cultural events, upcoming tribal fair, and any other related matters.

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



Phone: 970-563-0237

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

SUIMA – The Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy will begin the 2020-2021 Academic Year on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. Instruction will be limited to remote learning only, on-campus learning is unavailable at this time. SUIMA will host (online/in-person) classroom orientation the week of Aug. 31 through Sept. 4, 2020. 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 Primary 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, Jasmine Weaver, at 970-563-0253

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 – Will work remotely providing tutoring and student support through 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



Phone: Tribal Housing 970-563-4710; Construction Services 970-563-0260

Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 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.



Phone: J&R 970-563-0292;

Southern Ute Dispatch 970-563-4401

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

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

Division of Gaming (DOG) – DOG investigators will provide tribal building security patrols on and off campus, extra patrols of Casino, and assist tribal court with required paper service.

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. Education, PBT breath samples for courts and probation have been suspended. 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 contract inmates. 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 asked if they have exhibited any symptoms of COVID-19.

Tribal Rangers – 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 – 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. to 12 p.m. 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.



Phone: 970-563-2945

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

Custodial Services – One of the most vital departments operating at this time and will continue to provide cleaning and sanitation of only the spaces where critical staff and IMT are operating.

Motor Pool – Will cease all services to vehicles except for emergency service vehicles and other needs for critical tribal operations.

Building Maintenance – Will work remotely and respond to major repairs as necessary and continue monitoring building maintenance needs.

Grounds Maintenance – Will address trash pick-up and maintenance throughout the tribal campus and only in the spaces where critical staff and IMT are working.



Southern Ute Health Center

Phone: 970-563-4742

Phone: 970-563-4581

Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; (Health care service hours vary, please see below.)

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 through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Respiratory ailment screenings will be conducted in the tent located behind the Health Center beginning at 8 a.m. All specialty medical clinics are postponed, please call the Health Center for more information on the specialty medical clinics. Lab hours of operation will be Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except during the lunch hour from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.). Physical Therapy appointments will be made from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. as requested.

Pharmacy – Hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (except during the lunch hour from 12 to 12:30 p.m.), however patients are not allowed access to the pharmacy through the clinic. The pharmacy is only available through the walk-up window located on the outside of the Health Center.

Dental Clinic – The dental clinic will see patients Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Additional hours are available depending on the age groups and the dentist availability.

Optometry – Optometry emergency services are being provided on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 to 5 p.m., by appointment. No exams are being provided at this time. The direct line is 970-563-2374.

Behavioral Health – Staff will be reaching out to patients, providing services and how to cope during stressful times. Providers are addressing the possibility of utilizing tele-medicine.

Public Health Nurse & Community Health Representatives (CHR) – 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 – Staff will temporarily modify their scope of work to assist the Southern Ute Indian Tribe COVID-19 Call Center. Staff are identifying the program capacity to provide weekly cooking and other related information.



Phone: 970-563-4702

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

Administration – TIS staff will work with limited staff continue to process mail for the tribal government, answer and transfer incoming calls to tribal departments, and provide modified services.

Vital Statistics – Will continue to process enrollment applications, certificate of Indian blood (CIB), tax exemption forms, and notary public services. Available on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Central Receiving building.

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

The Drum newspaper resumed printing and will be on newsstands and in mailboxes starting Friday, Aug. 28 and 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 2020, 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.

Mail Service – Mail service remains available. We will continue to meet the needs of tribal departments who have crucial tasks that involve postage.  The schedule created to address tribal government mail delivery and mail pick up will be, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. First mail run is at 8:30 a.m. and the last mail run is at 10:30 a.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.



Phone: 970-563-2324

Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 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 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 – Will continue normal operation hours of Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 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. to 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 – 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 – 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.



Phone: 970-563-0125

Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 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 – Will work remotely to continue to provide map support services to the tribal membership as well as the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Incident Management Team as requested.

Lands – Will work remotely and continue to provide land assignment administration and commercial crossing permits on an emergency basis.

Agriculture – Will continue to provide custom farm and agriculture support services including pest management as delegated.

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

Range – Will continue to provide emergency gas well spill management response and oilfield onsite inspections only when critically necessary.

Forestry – Will continue to provide emergency firewood services only, IMT planning, and forestry contract administration.

Wildlife Resources – 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 through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Lake Capote is open only for enrolled Southern Ute tribal members and immediate family only on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; shoreline and dock fishing only; the Wildlife Division and Lake management believe that a re-opening of the restroom facilities can be accomplished in a COVID safe manner. These facilities include the shower-house in the campground, and the restrooms at the Baitshop; limited bait shop sales through window. For Lake Capote questions, please call the Lake Manager at 970-883-2273 or The Southern Ute Wildlife Division at 970-563-0130.



Phone: 970-563-4750

Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8 to 5 p.m.

Human Resources Department staff will work remotely and available by email and phone for assistance with employee benefits and employee questions/support. Risk Management continues to be involved in the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Incident Management Team and the COVID-19 response efforts.



Phone: 970-563-2216

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

The Internal Audit department will work remotely to assist with the continuity of government operations and meet with Tribal Council regarding on-going projects.



Phone: 970-563-4753

Hours of Operation: Closed. Remotely: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Boys & Girls Club is closed during this time. There will be no direct services provided, but Club staff will be offering programming, activity supplies and virtual support to families remotely.



Phone: 970-563-4749

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

The Tribal Planning Department will work remotely, continuing to plan functions on current projects.



Phone: 970-563-0214

Hours of Operation: Closed

The SunUte Community Center facilities are currently closed during this time.


Phone: 970-563-2142

Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 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.



Phone: 970-563-9583

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

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



Phone: 970-563-2600

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

The Permanent Fund Investments will work remotely to continue to manage the Tribe’s investment capital.



Phone: 970-563-0214

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

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. Please know this is not an emergency line, it is strictly information gathering and dissemination. Call center hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday until further direction is mandated by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe (IMT).

In addition to fielding calls, the call center will be making proactive calls to tribal elders, the disabled and high-risk tribal membership for current updates or directives delegated by the IMT.

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.

To top