KSUT Coronavirus Coverage

In the coming weeks, schools and colleges across the region are preparing to open their doors. KSUT’s Sarah Flower speaks to Liane Jollon, of San Juan Basin Public Health about the importance of schools reopening safely, and the status of public health departments across the state.


Take a virtual tour of KSUT's new building: The Eddie Box, Jr. Media Center

Aug 9, 2020

KSUT was in the midst of preparing to move into the new Eddie Box Jr. Media Center this spring, when the coronavirus pandemic disrupted those plans, like so many others. While the move was delayed, significant progress has been made in recent weeks and the station hopes to be operational in the new building by mid-September. Join Executive Director Tami Graham for a quick video tour of the state-of-the-art facility as new equipment is installed and the finishing touches are completed.

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. 

As School districts across the country grapple with plans for reopening this fall, some schools in southwest Colorado are planning for full in-person learning.  KSUT’s Sarah Flower has that story. 


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. 

San Juan Basin Public Health

Mercy Regional Medical Center recently announced they're reducing the hours and number of diagnostic COVID-19 tests at their free community testing site. In their weekly update, KSUT reporter Sarah Flower spoke with Liane Jollon of San Juan Basin Public Health about limited capacity testing and how regional entities are trying to fill the gap.


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.


Last week the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledged the growing evidence of airborne spread of COVID-19 after being urged to do so by over 200 scientists internationally. KSUT’s Sarah Flower spoke to Liane Jollon, Executive Director of San Juan Basin Public Health about what this means regionally and how it affects local response to the virus. 


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.


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. 

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:

 

 

 

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.


Photo courtesy of Region 9 EDD

COVID-19 is having a big impact on local businesses. Some struggle, others thrive. And employees are caught in the middle. The long-term effect on the area's economy is still unknown.

KSUT's Mark Duggan checked in with two area business boosters to get a report on the state of the Four Corners economy:

 


courtesy Jeremy Wade Shockley, The Southern Ute Drum

Among Ute people, late Spring is the time for Bear Dance. These are annual events which run several days, and are open to natives and non-natives alike. In recent years, hundreds of people attend Bear Dance events held in Ute communities in Colorado and Utah. But this year, they are being limited to small, one-day ceremonies. Producer Adam Burke of the KSUT series Native Braids spent some time with Southern Ute Bear Dance Chief Matthew Box about the event happening June 12, near Ignacio.

courtesy of Colorado Parks & Wildlife

While you worried about the coronavirus, a familiar presence awoke from its winter slumber and went looking for dinner.

Black bears in southwest Colorado have been active since April. They’re foraging for food and sometimes finding it in trash cans. With many people observing Colorado’s “safer-at-home” order, they could come into contact - and conflict - with bears.

Luke Clancy is the Bear Education Coordinator for Colorado Parks & Wildlife's Durango office. We reached out to him to find out more about the health of our ursine neighbors. And what you can do to avoid meeting up with them in your backyard.
 


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:


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