Southern Ute Indian Tribe members in Colorado test positive for coronavirus

Two staff members of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The tribal government employees are in self-quarantine, according to a Sunday statement from the tribe, which has a reservation in southwest Colorado along the New Mexico border.

“We knew this day would come, but we will overcome this in due time,” the statement said.

The tribe is working to identify others who might have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, and are working with both San Juan Basin Public Health and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to do so. A stay-at-home order was issued March 23 for residents on the reservation.

Tribal leaders instituted new health screenings for anyone reporting to work at any tribal facility in Ignacio, the statement said. Employees must check in and be screened for fever or other symptoms of COVID-19, the highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the virus, before going to work.

Law enforcement personnel will be screened upon arrival at the justice center, the statement said.

More than 2,000 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Colorado, and at least 44 people have died. The disease is mild in many cases, but can be serious or fatal for people with underlying health conditions or people who are older.

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