Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

March 24, 2020

Coronavirus spreads on Navajo Nation, now 39 cases and stay at home order

Alert: There are two reports of the coronavirus spreading through the Navajo area at church rallies. The first is published by the Navajo Times, and states that there are many coronavirus cases following a prayer rally of the Chilchinbeto Church of the Nazarene, near Kayenta, Arizona. According to the news report, two people died of respiraatory illness before they could be tested. I've asked the Navajo President's office for a response. Many area chapter houses attended the rally, including Navajos from Cameron and LeChee. The second report is of a church rally at Pine Hill, N.M The pastor's wife is hospitalized in Zuni in serious condition.Below is today's press statement by the Navajo President. -- Censored News

10 new positive COVID-19 cases reported among Navajo people

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer
March 24, 2020
Censored News

WINDOW ROCK – On Tuesday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer were informed of 10 new positive COVID-19 tests by the Navajo Department of Health and Navajo Area IHS, bringing the overall total to 39 cases for Navajo people. This includes 25 in Navajo County, six in Apache County, four in Coconino County in Arizona, and four in McKinley County in New Mexico.
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.
“Help beat the virus by staying home. To prevent a massive public health crisis, every person must remain home, unless you need food, medicine, or other essential items, but beyond that we shouldn’t have anyone traveling or going out into the public. If you need essential items, send only one person and use every precaution available,” said President Nez.
“Stay home, stay safe, save lives! Our first responders are on the ground working hard to help our communities. We will beat this virus together. We are praying every day for our people who are sick and their families,” said Vice President Lizer.
On Monday, the Navajo Department of Emergency Management in coordination with the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Office successfully issued an Emergency Alert through text message urging all Navajo residents to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus. The system will also be used to issue AMBER Alerts, Silver Alerts, Weather Alerts, and Missing Endangered Person Alerts. Supplies are also arriving from the Strategic National Stockpile, and being delivered to health care centers on the Navajo Nation.
All residents of the Navajo Nation can register to receive alerts from the Navajo Department of Emergency Management by texting “NavajoNation” to 888777or registering online at
“We need everyone’s cooperation by staying home at the advice of health care experts. We need to contain the virus to avoid widespread issues,” added President Nez.
The Navajo Police Department is also on the ground informing communities using public address systems from police units. If Chilchinbeto residents have questions or need assistance, please call ‪(928) 871-6271. To contact the main Navajo Health Command Operations Center, please call ‪(928) 871-7014.

Related News:
Navajo Times reports church rally and spread of coronavirus in Chilchinbito near Kayent on the Navajo Nation.

Indian Country
New cases of coronavirus are reported on Gila River, south of Phoenix, Arizona, and in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Earlier, cases were reported in Lummi in Washington. Cherokee Merle Dry died from coronavirus in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Below: Nationwide, the New York Times map shows the fast spread of coronavirus in major cities, with New York at the epicenter. Alarming cases are now reported north of New Orleans, Louisiana, in Mississippi, through the Smokey Mountains,  to the Carolinas.
Cities with international airports and cruise ship ports have a large number of cases. One cruise ship line reports the coronavirus was found in cabins 17 days after passengers left.
Obviously, by now, travelers, many of whom did not know they were sick due to the incubation period of up to two weeks, have touched most of the surfaces in airports and on airplanes. New York is also warning about the virus being transmitted on gas pumps.
Many states and regions are under a state at home order today, including the Navajo Nation.

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