The Southern Ute Indian Tribe reported its first positive COVID-19 case Wednesday since the pandemic broke out in March.
In a news release, SUIT spokeswoman Lindsay Box said the person who tested positive does not live on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation, south of Durango, and it is not believed the tribal community is at risk of transmission.
“We remain cautiously optimistic that we will be able to keep our members safe, but please be aware that cases in the area are on the rise,” Box said.
Box did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday.
The tribe has been under its own public health orders since the pandemic started earlier this year.
“The stringent approach to the pandemic has prevented an outbreak in the tribal community,” she said.
The majority of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation is located in La Plata County, but a portion does extend into neighboring Archuleta County.
According to the tribe’s website, SUIT membership is about 1,400 people, though non-native people do live within the reservation’s boundaries.
According to San Juan Basin Public Health, a total of 326 people have tested positive in La Plata County, and 62 people have tested positive in Archuleta County as of Wednesday.