Saturday, March 28, 2020

Navajo Nation reports two deaths, 92 cases of coronavirus

Navajo coronavirus cases increase to 92, with two confirmed deaths, as the virus spreads

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

The coronavirus claimed two lives and infected 92 Dine', an increase of 21 people in just 24 hours, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said late Friday.

The Navajo Times reports the spread of the coronavirus followed a gathering of the Nazarene Church in Chilchinbeto. Those attending and their families became ill in Cameron, LeChee and nearby chapters.

One family told the Navajo Times how the father was turned away at a local hospital repeatedly after becoming sick with a high fever after the rally.

A second church rally at Pine Hill near Gallup infected more Dine', and the pastor's family was hospitalized, sources said.

Nationwide, at least two other Native Americans have died from the virus in Oklahoma and Washington State.

The Indian Health Service reported 10 cases in both California and Portland IHS agencies. IHS statistics show only about one-half of Native Americans tested had received results of the tests.

The Rosebud Sioux in South Dakota established a curfew, restrictions on visitors and businesses and prohibited unaccompanied minors, in an effort to control the spread of the virus after the first case was reported there.

Already with a stay-at-home order in place, the Navajo Nation cases continued to rise this week.

Navajo President Nez said, “Our condolences and prayers go out to the families of the two individuals who have passed on. We also pray for all of those who are fighting to recover from the virus. We cannot thank our health care workers and first responders enough for everything they are doing to help our people."

“To our Navajo people, let’s help our healthcare workers by staying home and isolating ourselves as much as possible. Our public safety officers are needed in our communities every day, and we don’t want to have to take them away from those duties to force people to stay home – we don’t have to go to that extent if people simply listen to the health care experts."

Navajo area doctors pleaded for face masks at Tuba City Medical Center and elsewhere in Indian country. As the coronavirus spread through Indian country this week, Native American doctors urged people to stay at home and sought out those who could help provide face masks.

Currently, the Navajo cases are in Navajo County, Ariz., 49; Apache County, Ariz., 18; Coconino County, Ariz., 6; McKinley County, N.M., 5; San Juan County, N.M., 11; Cibola County, N. M., 1; San Juan County, Utah, 2.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Coronavirus cases reach 71 for Navajo Nation, as virus spreads through Indian country

First Responders on Navajo Nation distribute health information. Photo Navajo President's Office

Coronavirus cases reach 71 on the Navajo Nation, as the virus
spreads through Indian country

Article by Brenda Norrell
Censored News

The coronavirus spread nationwide through Indian country this week and devastated families. At least two Native Americans have died from the virus, in Oklahoma and Washington State. On Thursday, the Navajo Nation reported that cases increased to 71 among Navajos. IHS reports ten cases in both California and Portland IHS agencies.

The initial spread in Chilchinbeto near Kayenta, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation followed a gathering of the Nazarene Church, the Navajo Times reported.

Another church gathering in Pine Hill, N.M., near Gallup, further spread coronavirus to Dine'. The pastor's family was hospitalized.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota reported its first case of the virus. The Lakota is recovering at home. On Wind River in Wyoming, one case of a Northern Araphoe testing positivee was linked to a cluster of virus cases in a Lander nursing home.

The United States reported the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world with more than 1,200 deaths, and the virus spread across Indian country.

In the northwest, where the coronavirus spread was initially the fastest, the family of Geraldine Williams of Tulalip Bay in Washington said they were heartbroken following the death of Geraldine. 

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee earlier restricted gatherings to 250 people.The Seattle Times reports,  "But some tribal governments, such as the Port Gamble S’Klallam on the Kitsap Peninsula, had already gone further, banning gatherings of more than 10 for at least 90 days."

"Such extreme measures are necessary, tribal leaders say. The Makah Tribe and Lummi Nation enacted shelter in place ordinances for their citizens, and the Yakama Nation followed suit Monday night," the Seattle Times reports.

In Oklahoma, the first person to pass to the Spirit World from coronavirus complications was Merle Dry, 55, of the Cherokee Nation. Coronavirus has also spread to Native communities in Wyoming and Minnesota.

Vox reports,  "A Northern Arapaho tribal member on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming tested positive on Saturday and the tribe has declared a state of emergency for the reservation that spans over 2.2 million acres."

"Last weekend, Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, lost her brother to Covid-19 after he was already battling a cancer diagnosis," Vox reports.

South of Phoenix, the Gila River Indian Community has two coronavirus cases. One is an Akimel O'otham member and the second is a member of another Native American Nation. Both are recovering at home.

One person living on the Fort McDowell Indian Nation near Phoenix died. However, the person, 49, with underlying health conditions, was not a Yavapai tribal member.

The Indian Health Service reports coronavirus cases in most of its agencies, with the greatest number in the Navajo, with ten cases in both Portland and California agencies. There are two cases in the Great Plains.

IHS statistics show that only about one-half of Native Americans tested have obtained results of the tests. (See more below.)

The epicenter of coronavirus is in New York, where more than 100 people died on Wednesday night, and patients lined up outside hospitals. There was rapid spread in New Jersey.

The spread in the Southeast U.S. is alarming, with rapid spread in New Orleans and north through Mississippi, continuing through the Smokey Mountains into the Carolinas. 

Atlanta, Denver, Chicago and other major cities with international airports show large numbers of cases. Cities with cruise ship ports such as Seattle and Los Angeles have been hard hit by the virus.

In Canada, Mohawks in Kahnawake report five cases. Last week, a doctor who had been at the hospital tested positive for coronavirus.

Below are two statements from the Navajo President and statistics from IHS.

New cases of COVID-19 reaches 71 for Navajo Nation
By Navajo President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — On Thursday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer were informed by the Navajo Department of Health and Navajo Area Indian Health Service, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center, that the number of positive tests for COVID-19 has reached a total of 71 for the Navajo Nation. The cases include the following counties:
Navajo County, AZ: 42 *changed from yesterday, due to clarification of one individual’s residency
Apache County, AZ: 9
Coconino County, AZ: 7
McKinley County, NM: 5
San Juan County, NM: 7
Cibola County, NM: 1

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Rural and Native communities call for halt to Keystone XL due to coronavirus threat

Photo: Faith Spotted Eagle (right) and members and supporters of Brave Heart Society and the Yankton Sioux Tribe inside a solar-equipped tiny house built to take on tour of proposed KXL “man camp” locations to raise awareness about MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women). The tour has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus public health emergency. Photographer: Jen Cohen)
CANCEL KXL: Rural and Tribal Communities Call on TC Energy to Cancel Keystone XL Pipeline Activity Due to Coronavirus Public Health Threat

As coronavirus forces social distancing and community lockdowns, TC Energy/TransCanada endangers thousands of workers and rural communities unequipped to handle public health threat, in addition to increased crime and sexual violence arising from pipeline worker “man camps”

By Mark Hefflinger
Bold Nebraska

HASTINGS, Nebraska — Despite the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic, which has compelled Tribal, federal, state, and local governments to impose “shelter-in-place,” travel restrictions, and cancel all manner of events to encourage social distancing, the Canadian pipeline corporation TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) continues against all good judgment to move forward with work on its Keystone XL pipeline project — further endangering the health of both thousands of out-of-state contract workers coming in to work on the pipeline, and the rural communities who will be exposed to them. Bold Nebraska has launched an online petition urging TC Energy to “Cancel KXL” activity — and calling on labor unions, Governors, Mayors and County Boards along the route to take action to halt all activity including construction on worker “man camps,” should TC continue to move forward in the face of the Coronavirus public health threat.

Navajo Nation coronavirus cases increase to 69

A big thank you to our Nation’s first responders, firefighters, Navajo Nation Division of Behavioral Health, and the Special Diabetes Program for continuing to deliver food, water, and other essential items to the elderly and high-risk residents in Chilchinbeto. Please keep them and our communities in your prayers. Ahe’hee’ -- Navajo President's Office

New cases of COVID-19 increases by 20 among Navajo people

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer
Censored News

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — On Wednesday evening, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer were informed by the Navajo Department of Health and Navajo Area IHS that the number of positive tests for COVID-19 has reached a total of 69 for Navajo people, an increase of 20 cases from the previous day. The cases include 43 in Navajo County, eight in Apache County, six in Coconino County in Arizona, and four in McKinley County, seven in San Juan County, and one in Cibola County in New Mexico.

“Unfortunately, the numbers are going to continue to rise until everyone begins to comply with the Stay at Home Order. We have to isolate ourselves to isolate the virus. Let’s do it for our elders, our children, and our high-risk individuals. We will fight and eventually beat this virus together, but we need everyone to take it seriously. There’s no need to be out in public unless you’re in need of food, medication, or other essential items,” said President Nez.

A Public Health Emergency “Stay at Home Order” remains in effect requiring all residents of the Navajo Nation to remain home and isolated and all non-essential businesses to close to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“The number of positive cases is rising, but please remember that people are also testing negative for the virus and people are also recovering. In challenging times, we must also maintain faith in our prayers and know that we will overcome this,” stated Vice President Lizer.

President Nez and Vice President Lizer continue to advocate and lobby at the federal and state levels for additional resources that will be needed as the number of cases increase. On Wednesday, it was reported that Congress and the White House agreed to a $2 trillion coronavirus spending bill that includes $8 billion to help tribes fight the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“We are not letting down. We are stepping up our efforts to fight for the resources that our Navajo people, first responders, and many others need to respond and recover from this pandemic. It’s going to be a tough challenge, but we will overcome like our ancestors did,” added President Nez.

To contact the main Navajo Health Command Operations Center, please call (928) 871-7014.

More from Censored News

Coronavirus cases increased in IHS areas of Navajo, Portland 10, California 9 and Great Plains 2. The Navajo Nation said cases today increased to 69. IHS shows that results are available for less than half of those tested nationwide.

Below New York Times map today of coronavirus spread in the U.S. March 26, 2920


Federal court strikes down permit for Dakota Access Pipeline, March 25, 2020

Photo Ryan Vizzions, Standing Rock

By Earthjustice
Censored News
March 25, 2020

Washington, D.C. —  A federal court today granted a request by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to strike down federal permits for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.

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