KSUT Coronavirus Coverage

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,’” she explains. “Which means it’s been there as long as the land, the mountains, the water, the air has been there.”

La Plata County is reporting its first workplace outbreak of COVID-19 at a construction site in Durango. KSUT’s Sarah Flower speaks with San Juan Basin Public Health's Liane Jollon:

 

 

 

 


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 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. 


Not every resident in the Four Corners region has access to financial assistance from the federal government. One local grassroots organization is helping to fill those gaps. KSUT’s Sarah Flower reports:

 

More information on the Four Corners Mutual Aid Network  can be found here.

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:


Mark Duggan/KSUT

Mesa Verde National Park reopens on Sunday, after a two-month closure because of the coronavirus. But there are some caveats to what visitors will be able to see and do. KSUT reporter Mark Duggan reached out to park superintendent Cliff Spencer to learn more:

 

Mark Duggan/KSUT

Hunger is hard enough. It's even more difficult to face during a global pandemic. As unemployment has skyrocketed, so has people's reliance on food programs. From daily meal services to community food pantries, volunteers say they've seen a sharp increase in people lining up for feeding services.

One program in Cortez is known as Grace's Kitchen. It's part of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. Doug Bleyle, the Priest-in-Charge at St. Barnabas, says the program has been serving food to disadvantaged communities for more than 20 years. During the pandemic, they've switched from a dining room environment to sack lunches. With social distancing.

KSUT Reporter Mark Duggan talked to Bleyle about how Grace's Kitchen keeps people fed during a crisis.

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.


Durango to Require Face Coverings in Public Places

May 20, 2020

The City of Durango is expected to sign a new face covering mandate to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, effective Friday, May 22. KSUT’s Sarah Flower reports:


Researchers continue to learn more about COVID-19 daily, including how it affects children. KSUT Reporter Sarah Flower spoke with Dr. Cecile Fraley of Pediatric Partners of the Southwest, to discuss recent findings on COVID-19 and a rare but​ serious health condition in children called Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome.


Every week, Montezuma County resident Rena Wilson drops by the Valley Inn Nursing Home in Mancos. She's there to visit her longtime friend, Mac Neely, who is 99 years old. During the coronavirus pandemic, their visits are separated by a window. Their relationship endures, even during tough times. So far, there have been no COVID-19 cases at Valley Inn, unlike at other assisted living facilities. KSUT Reporter Mark Duggan spoke with Rena Wilson about how she and Mac Neely stay close - even through a pane of glass.  


Primary voting ballots will go out in the mail to La Plata County residents on June 8. COVID-19 has changed what voting in person will look like locally. KSUT’s Sarah Flower has that story. 


The Colorado Media Project has announced that KSUT Public Radio has been accepted as part of the 2020 COVID-19 Informed Communities Project.  The grant award of $5,000 supports KSUT's active participation in COLab’s COVID-19 Coverage Network, ensuring that more local news about the COVID-19 health crisis and economic recovery is reaching the diverse community it serves. 

May 18, 2020: KSUT’s Sarah Flower speaks with Liane Jollon, Executive Director of San Juan Basin Public Health Department for their weekly update. Today, they talk in depth about Colorado’s COVID-19 death count, including the one reported death to date, in La Plata County.


visitpagosasprings.com

Pagosa Town Council unanimously approved a variance request from local businesses to open their doors before the state of Colorado’s suggested date of May 25, 2020. KSUT’s Sarah Flower reports. 

Four Corners Guides

Four Corners Guides has a connection to the Navajo Nation through one of their guide partners, tribal member Jon Yazzie, who lives and runs his bikepacking business, Dzil Ta'ah Adventures in Kayenta, Arizona.

Tami Graham spoke with Lizzy Scully, of Four Corners Guides about launching a GoFund me campaign to support Navajo elders in Kayenta, where they're experiencing major challenges due to COVID-19.  


Some of us may know someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19. Or suspect they had it. One Durango-area woman got a positive test. She suffered what she calls a mild case, but still says she was miserable. KSUT Reporter Mark Duggan talked to her about her experience:

Testing kits for COVID-19 are still difficult to come by in some parts of the country. Regionally, one diagnostic lab is providing unlimited tests for COVID-19 antibodies. KSUT’s Sarah Flower reports: 

 


KSUT quickly adapts to serve needs of the community

May 11, 2020

The April 24, 2020 issue of The Southern Ute Drum published a feature on KSUT and how the station has adapted and moved forward in response to the coronavirus pandemic. This includes a delay in moving to their new building, originally set for this spring, and expediting the addition of producing local content, with two reporters covering COVID-19.  Read Jeremy Wade Shockley's KSUT story here

La Plata County recorded its first fatality due to COVID-19 this weekend. KSUT’s Sarah Flower checks in with Executive Director of San Juan Basin Public Health Department, Liane Jollon on this topic and others making news this week:

 


The coronavirus is negatively impacting much of the U.S. economy, particularly energy markets. High Country News writer and former Durango resident Jonathan Thompson has covered oil and gas for a long time. He says the pandemic hasn't had much effect on natural gas. But oil is a different story. And the fallout will affect everybody, as KSUT Reporter Mark Duggan explains:


Jicarilla Apache Nation

Area Native American tribes are continuing with their efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Jicarilla Apache Nation in north-central New Mexico has turned to its Facebook page, tribal-owned radio station KCIE, and website to get the word out. Mark Duggan reports:


Starting today, non-critical businesses in La Plata County can open their doors with strict public health measures in place. KSUT’s Sarah Flower checked in with local business owners, and Liane Jollon from San Juan Basin Public Health for this story:

Local shelters in Durango have seen their maximum capacity numbers cut in half due to social distancing restrictions in trying to stop the spread of COVID-19. KSUT’s Sarah Flower reports: 

 


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