COVID-19

An Opportunity to Close Indian Country’s Digital Divide is Expiring

Jul 9, 2020
Jolene Yazzie/High Country News

This story was originally published by High Country News on June 2, 2020

Under the best circumstances, Linnea Jackson’s 85-year-old grandmother would struggle to navigate a virtual doctor’s appointment, but a poor internet connection made it nearly impossible. With the COVID-19 pandemic limiting visits to medical offices, Jackson, the general manager of the Hoopa Valley Public Utilities District, ended up using her cellphone as a hotspot — a Band-Aid for her community’s longstanding connectivity problems. 

San Juan Basin Public Health Update, July 7, 2020

Jul 7, 2020
courtesy San Juan Basin Public Health

As positive COVID-19 cases continue to grow in La Plata and Archuleta Counties, KSUT’s Sarah Flower gets an update from Liane Jollon, Executive Director of San Juan Basin Public Health.


Visitors are flocking to Colorado’s public lands. But large crowds can post a risk of spreading COVID-19. KSUT’s Mark Duggan spoke with Joe Lewandowski of Colorado Parks & Wildlife about their efforts to keep visitors safe at state parks. 

Four Corners Folk Festival Canceled Due to COVID-19

Jul 2, 2020
Courtesy State of Colorado

Colorado Governor Jared Polis is putting the brakes on part of Colorado's reopening plans. But he's also touting a new phase to allow some areas to open even more. Mark Duggan explains:

 

 

 

San Juan Basin Public Health Update, June 29, 2020

Jun 29, 2020

With July Fourth coming up on Saturday, KSUT reporter Sarah Flower speaks to San Juan Basin Public Health's Liane Jollon about the recent spike in local COVID-19 cases, and how to celebrate the holiday safely.


Stasia Lanier/KSUT

Local farmer's markets are adapting to keep customers and vendors safe during the pandemic. Some small agricultural producers are even finding ways to sell their produce through websites and delivery. Mark Duggan spoke with Melanie McKinney Gonzalez, market manager for the Durango Farmer's Market to learn more:

 

Photo courtesy of Ignacio Community Library

Some libraries in the Four Corners are taking cautious steps at reopening to the public. But visitors will see some changes. And the materials you return will be quarantined before they go back on the shelf. KSUT reporter Mark Duggan takes a closer look:


San Juan Basin Public Health Update, June 22, 2020

Jun 22, 2020

San Juan Basin Public Health is reporting recent cases of individuals testing positive for COVID-19 at local testing sites who are not residents of Archuleta or La Plata counties, and are not counted in the agency’s case counts.

KSUT’s Sarah Flower talks with Executive Director Liane Jollon about how those cases are being reported, the work that public health agencies do for contact tracing, and ongoing prevention efforts.


Coping with Grief During COVID-19

Jun 19, 2020

Coping with the loss of a loved one or other painful experience during COVID-19 presents new challenges for our society. KSUT’s Sarah Flower spoke with Judy Austin, the Executive Director of the Grief Center of Southwest Colorado about how the experience of grieving has changed and what can be done to help.


Mark Duggan/KSUT

Artists find themselves in a unique position during the coronavirus pandemic. Galleries and museums have been shuttered for months, cutting off a large part of the art market. But staying home has also led to a creative outpouring for many artists. People are looking for ways to channel their anxiety and other emotions. Mancos-based blacksmith Alex Bond came up with a way to get small pieces into the hands of art lovers using vending machines.

 

 

With food insecurity rising at an alarming rate worldwide due to COVID-19, one local soup kitchen is answering the call. KSUT’s Sarah Flower has that story.

Mark Duggan/KSUT

 

COVID-19 cases continue to rise in some parts of the country. But in Colorado, new cases and hospitalizations are trending downward. We wanted to know how one area health care organization is handling the pandemic, from preparing for a possible spike in cases to balancing public health with a desire by some to return to normal. KSUT reporter Mark Duggan reached out to Tony Sudduth to find out more. He's the CEO of Southwest Health System and Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez.

Tami Graham/KSUT

KSUT’s Sarah Flower spoke with Liane Jollon, from San Juan Basin Public Health for their weekly update, touching on the impacts of COVID-19 on wildfire response.


Beginning today, June 9, 2020, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe will offer voluntary COVID-19 viral testing for its tribal membership from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. through June 11. Priority will be given to Tribal Elders and tribal members with self-diagnosed vulnerabilities the first hour of each day. Sarah Flower reports:

 

 

More information can be found here.

This week, KSUT Reporter Sarah Flower and San Juan Basin Public Health's Liane Jollon discuss several COVID-related issues. These include: systemic racism from a public health perspective, protest gatherings and face coverings, new public health orders and the great outdoors, regional contact tracing, and preventing further outbreaks. 


Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced that residents in senior care facilities and nursing homes might be able to have visitors in the near future. KSUT’s Sarah Flower reports:


Kyle Todichini for KSUT

Darrah Blackwater sees radio waves as a natural resource. The Navajo Nation member and recent law school graduate works to bring high-speed internet to rural tribal lands. Her efforts focus on what she calls “spectrum sovereignty,” or the recognition of tribal spectrum rights.

“That means that the radio waves on the land have been on the land since what we call in federal Indian law, ‘time immemorial.’ Which means it’s been there as long as the land, the mountains, the water, the air has been there.”

David McClister

I spoke with Lucinda Williams about her powerful new record "Good Souls, Better Angels" in advance of the virtual concert she's doing for KSUT Friday night. We discussed songwriting, in particular her new found passion for topical and political songs. As a hopeless romantic, she's best known for songs about love and loss. But in recent years, she's become politically outspoken in her writing.  We also discussed her musical influences, life in Nashville during COVID-19, and reactions from fans. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did. - Chris Aaland


John Fitzpatrick

On June 1, KSUT returned to its regular staffing and programming schedule, while continuing to practice compliance with social distancing, and extra precautions to protect staff. The station will remain closed to the public for the time being, but KSUT personnel are available by email and phone. 

KSUT recently spoke with a Mancos resident who started a GoFundMe campaign to get food and other supplies to Navajo elders who may be quarantined or sheltering at home.

The effort was coordinated with Jon Yazzie a resident of Kayenta, Arizona on the Navajo Nation and a full-blooded Navajo. The fundraiser has been successful and groceries are already going to support elders in that area. KSUT's Mark Duggan reached out to Yazzie to get an update:

 

KSUT Reporter Sarah Flower speaks with San Juan Basin Public Health's Liane Jollon about new orders expected from Governor Jared Polis, and more in their weekly update. 


On the Navajo Nation, the COVID curve is flattening. Efforts to trace the spread of the disease are working. But challenges remain. Federal native health officials are responding with more funding, as KSUT's Mark Duggan explains:

 

Under Colorado Governor Jared Polis, restaurants across the state are able to open today, but in La Plata County, they need to self certify before they can do so. KSUT’s Sarah Flower reports:

Mark Duggan/KSUT

Colorado restaurants can reopen their dining rooms and patios for the first time in two months. But diners should prepare for some changes to the way their favorite eateries operate, as KSUT's Mark Duggan explains:

We'll miss kicking off Pagosa Folk 'N Bluegrass on Reservoir Hill Friday, June 5th this year, but we're excited to present a virtual live music experience to raise our spirits.

With a new face covering mandate and local protests, KSUT reporter Sarah Flower checks in with San Juan Basin Public Health's Liane Jollon for their weekly update. Due to the Memorial Day holiday, this story will be broadcast on Tuesday, May 26 at 2:30 PM, but you can listen here:


Spending a Safe Memorial Day Weekend on Public Lands

May 20, 2020

Camping, barbecuing and outdoor recreation are popular Memorial Day weekend activities. KSUT’s Sarah Flower spoke with Eric Coulter of the Colorado Southwest Bureau of Land Management, about how to do that safely on public lands.


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