COVID-19

courtesy of Andreita Gonzales

 

The devastating economic effects of COVID-19 are very real. For some, paying bills, putting food on the table, and keeping a roof over their heads are daunting. A newly established non-profit has stepped up to help those in need. KSUT’s Sarah Flower talks to founder Matt Taylor with AidToAll La Plata:


Dig Deep

Most of us take hot and cold running water and a flush toilet for granted. But for some residents of the Navajo Nation, it's a luxury they don't get to enjoy at home. Some studies show up to a third of Navajo households lack indoor plumbing. But several projects now underway are trying to bridge what's known as the “water gap.”


Mark Duggan

Gov. Jared Polis has urged schools to reopen since May, but as school comes back to session in Colorado, about half the state's K-12 students are attending districts that are starting online. School districts received vague and conflicting guidance from the state and were under intense political pressure from all sides. When coronavirus cases rose in the summer, school districts faced a kind of snow day decision from hell.

courtesy of Mercy Regional Medical Center

COVID-19 has taken its toll on our nation's hospitals. Rural communities have their own challenges. Mike Murphy, CEO of Mercy Regional Medical Center spoke with KSUT’s Sarah Flower in an exclusive interview about the region's largest hospital, its COVID-19 response, tracking cases and data, and being prepared moving forward.


TV pilot being shot in Montezuma County

Aug 21, 2020
Mark Duggan

A television show pilot that will be shot in Montezuma County this fall aims to put the area on the filmmaking map. It's also an opportunity for the show's creators to revel in the Four Corners backdrop they call home.

Novelist Chuck Greaves, who lives southwest of Cortez, and director, Félix Enríquez Alcalá, a recent transplant to Mancos, both say they want to showcase the region's diverse beauty in the show, called “Badwater.”

KSUT’s Sarah Flower speaks with San Juan Basin Public Health's Lianne Jollon about the upcoming flu season coinciding with COVID-19.


Red Feather Development Group

Up to a third of the households on the Navajo and Hopi Reservations lack access to clean running water. This can be a particular problem for maintaining hygiene, especially during a pandemic. Now an Arizona organization is installing self-contained handwashing stations for tribal members.


A recent spike in COVID-19 cases in young adults, ages 20-29 currently accounts for close to 20% of positive COVID-19 cases in La Plata and Archuleta Counties. KSUT’s Sarah Flower speaks with San Juan Basin Public Health's Liane Jollen about this, and related issues for their weekly update.


Bayfield and Durango School Districts are currently working with their draft plan for reopening this fall. Ignacio and Montezuma-Cortez School Districts have theirs officially in place. In Part 2 of KSUT's reopening schools report, Sarah Flower looks at how districts plan to move forward for learning next month. 

KSUT’s Sarah Flower met via Zoom earlier this week with school administrators from Cortez, Durango, Bayfield and Ignacio to discuss each district's approach to reopening their schools. 

GrandCanyonTrust.org

A new program seeks to connect Navajo and Hopi entrepreneurs with micro-loans to help them through the pandemic. It's known as “Kinship Lending” and has helped artists and small businesses.

KSUT's Mark Duggan spoke with Jessica Stago of Change Lab, a Native-owned business resource group that runs the loan program:

 

As families, faculty and staff wait for schools to potentially reopen in the fall, the Colorado Department of Education has released new statewide guidelines. KSUT’s Sarah Flower reports. 


Last Friday, Colorado issued a statewide face covering mandate to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The Governor's office released data over the weekend showing the state could run out of ICU beds by early September if Colorado’s increase in positive COVID-19 numbers continues to rise.

KSUT’s Sarah Flower joins Liane Jollon, Executive Director of San Juan Basin Public Health Department to talk about that mandate and our case numbers regionally. 


Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is issuing a statewide mask order as cases of COVID-19 continue to increase in the state. KSUT's Mark Duggan has more:


Almost half of the states in the U.S. now require wearing face coverings in public spaces to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. While several Colorado municipalities have local mandates, the state still has not implemented any regulations. Sarah Flower reports on Governor Polis's latest update.


Tracking positive COVID tests from visitors proves tricky

Jul 14, 2020
Photo by Mark Duggan for KSUT

 

Officials worry they're not getting a true picture of contagion here in Colorado during tourist season, as positive COVID-19 cases are reported based on where a person lives, not where they've been.

Concerts around the world have been canceled until further notice, and musicians are struggling with how to make a living and what’s next in their career. KSUT’s Sarah Flower spoke with local musician Caitlin Cannon about how she’s had to pivot her summer tour, and the release of her latest album.


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

Sadly, but not surprisingly, we announce the cancellation of the 25th Annual Four Corners Folk Festival over Labor Day weekend. While we initially were hopeful, this decision is clearly unavoidable due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

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.

 

 

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