Rise in COVID cases prompts tribe to revert to Phase II ‘Safer at Home,’ Level 3

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Lindsay J. Box, Southern Ute Indian Tribe Communication Specialist

Southern Ute Indian Reservation — Due to the rise in positive case rate and one-week cumulative incident rate, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe reverts back to Phase II “Safer at Home”, Level 3 effective Thursday, Jan. 6. The Southern Ute Tribal Council adopted amended COVID-19 metrics via Resolution 2021-104. Tribal Council in collaboration with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Incident Management Team (IMT) has determined it is in the best interests of the tribal membership and the tribal organization to move to the more restrictive phase.

Since the start of the pandemic, tribal leadership has continued to prioritize the health safety of the tribal membership, tribal staff, and our tribal community and has taken a more conservative approach in its response.

“As we see the rise in positive cases and cumulative case rate locally, the tribe has taken its responsibility to protect the health safety of the membership and staff seriously. We have determined it is best to move to a more restrictive operation for a short period of time,” stated Chairman Melvin J. Baker. “The quicker we move to the more restricted phase, the sooner we are able to control the spread of the virus within our tribal community. I would encourage our tribal membership, tribal staff and our community to seriously consider getting vaccinated. If you have not gotten your booster, schedule your appointment. Our decisions today will protect our Tribal Elders, our language and culture.”

The Tribe remains committed to monitoring the local data and modifying tribal operations as necessary.

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe will remain in Phase II “Safer at Home,” Level 3 until otherwise lifted. The Tribal offices remain open to the public; however, all individuals will be required to make an appointment with all departments that provide direct services to the membership prior to entering any tribal building and by calling the department directly.

Below are some of the things to expect when the Tribe moves to Phase II “Safer at Home”, Level 3.

The following activities are allowed:

  • • Visit, care for, and assist a family member or friend.
  • • Go to the grocery store.
  • • Pick up medications or attend medical appointments.
  • • Go to school or buy educational supplies.
  • • Go to, or get things from, work.
  • • Go to a restaurant or store, provided all protective measures of the establishment are followed.
  • • Spend time outdoors to enjoy activities such as walking, hiking, playing, or picnicking at a park, etc.
  • • Exercise indoors or outdoors provided capacity restrictions and protective measures are in place.
  • • Take your pets to veterinarian appointments.

The following activities are not allowed:

  • • Do not leave your home or visit with family members and friends if you are sick.
  • • Do not go to work if you are part of the vulnerable populations.
  • • Do not visit loved ones who are not non-household members in the hospital, nursing home, or other residential care facility.
  • • Do not stop using a face mask or covering when you are leaving your home.
  • • Do not maintain less than 6 feet of distance between you and non-household members when you go out.

Restrictions in Phase II, Level 3:

  • • Personal gatherings are restricted to 10 individuals or less.
  • • Indoor capacity is restricted to 25 percent and 25 person maximum capacity.
  • • Outdoor capacity is restricted to 25 percent and 50 person maximum capacity.

For more information, please visit the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s website and social media, in the Southern Ute Drum, and individuals can also call the Southern Ute Indian Tribe by dialing (970) 563-0100.

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. Please continue to practice social distancing staying 6 feet away from others. Stay connected with your loved ones and be sure to check on our tribal elders.