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Region Briefs: Southern Ute reopen tribal operations; Virtual hearing set for Canyon Mine permit; Utah feels strain of latest COVID-19 wave

Southern Ute reopen tribal operations

IGNACIO, Colo. – On July 30, the Southern Ute Tribal Council, in consultation with its Incident Management Team, approved a move to Phase III, “protect our neighbor,” status in its plan for the pandemic.

This phase is one below the fully open phase.

The team will continue to monitor the data closely and provide tribal leadership with the most up-to-date information in an effort to support the tribe reopening.

While doing so, the priority of the health and safety of tribal membership, employees, and visitors will be protected.

Effective Monday, Aug. 9, the tribe will move to Phase III and tribal offices will open to the public, employees, and visitors, all of whom will be required to follow COVID-19 health safety guidelines.

Examples of capacity restrictions under Phase III include:

• Gatherings are restricted to no greater than 125 people.
• Indoor capacity is permitted up to 100% with a maximum of 500 people.
• Outdoor capacity is permitted up to 100% with a maximum of 500 people.
More information is at the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s website and social media, the Southern Ute Drum and KSUT Tribal Radio.

Information: 970-563-0100, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Virtual hearing set for Canyon Mine permit

FLAGSTAFF – The Grand Canyon Trust reports that the state groundwater permit for Canyon Mine (recently renamed “Pinyon Plain Mine”) is currently up for renewal before the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

Since it was first permitted in 1986, Canyon Mine has never commercially produced uranium ore, but it has put precious springs and groundwater in and around Grand Canyon National Park at risk, including the Havasupai Tribe’s primary water source.

A virtual public hearing on the permit is set for Monday from 6 p.m. to 9 pm. (ET).

“Join us at a public hearing to protect the Grand Canyon region’s precious waters,” the trust said in a news release.

“We encourage you to make a public comment at the meeting urging ADEQ to deny the ‘individual aquifer protection permit,’ which the mine needs to operate, and instead issue a permit only for the immediate closure and cleanup of the mine,” the trust said.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, submit your comment online by Aug. 7.

Utah feels strain of latest COVID-19 wave

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Utah’s hospitals are feeling the strain as coronavirus cases increase, the vast majority among unvaccinated people, officials said Tuesday.

Republican Gov. Spencer Cox called the latest wave a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” yet maintained the state wouldn’t be following New York in requiring people show they got the shot.

Still, if private companies require some sort of proof, state would support them, he said.

Cox said, “The delta variant is highly contagious and it’s spreading rapidly. Our hospital ICUs are filling up and our health-care workers are feeling the strain. Hospitals have a shortage of qualified health-care workers more than a year into the punishing pandemic.

Intensive-care units around the state have exceeded 100% capacity multiple times over the last several days, according to officials with Intermountain Healthcare.

The state had more than 6,000 new cases over the past week, about 90% of those affected unvaccinated people, hospital system officials said.

There’s also a national shortage of a medication shown to be effective in treating COVID-19, doctors said.

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, who said she still suffers the effects of her own battle with COVID-19, was blunt: “Everybody who is unvaccinated is part of the problem,” she said.


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