Southern Ute Indian Tribe confirms two positive cases of COVID-19

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – Two employees of the Southern Ute Indian Tribal government have tested positive for COVID 19. They are in self-quarantine and we wish them the best in their recovery.  All appropriate steps are being taken to identify anyone who may have been exposed for notification to self-quarantine and self-monitor for symptoms of the disease.

San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (DCPHE) are providing assistance during this investigation.  Anyone who is contacted by SJBPH and CDPHE are encouraged to cooperate to assist them in protecting the health and welfare of our Southern Ute tribal membership and government.

It is important to know that, by definition of the Centers for Disease Control, you have not been “exposed” unless you have had close contact with a person who has tested positive.

The definition of close contact is: “being about six (6) feet (approximately two (2) meters) from an infected person or within the room or care area of an infected patient for a prolonged period while not wearing recommended PPE. Close contact also includes instances where there is direct contact with infectious secretions while not wearing recommended PPE. Close contact generally does not include brief interactions, such as walking past a person.”

All previous advisories about how to protect yourself, self-monitor and avoid exposing others to any illness you may have are doubly important now.  In addition to all precautions already in effect being maintained the following new procedure will take effect immediately:

Any staff reporting to work at any tribal facility in Ignacio must report to the tents behind the Health Center before proceeding to their work location. Employees will be screened and cleared to work that day by Health Center staff if they have no fever or other symptoms of COVID-19.

The only exception to this rule are law enforcement personnel who will be screened upon arrival at the Justice Center.

Please remain calm and vigilant.  Protect yourself and protect others by staying at home if you are ill.  We knew this day would come, but we will overcome this in due time.

This story was posted on March 29, 2020.