Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

March 25, 2020

Navajo Nation’s positive tests for COVID-19 reaches 49

Navajo Nation’s positive tests for COVID-19 reaches 49

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

WINDOW ROCK – On Tuesday evening, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer were informed of 10 additional positive COVID-19 tests by the Navajo Department of Health and Navajo Area IHS, bringing the overall total to 49 cases for Navajo people. This includes 30 cases in Navajo County, seven in Apache County, six in Coconino County in Arizona, four in McKinley County, and two in San Juan County in New Mexico.

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

“To protect ourselves, our families, and communities, we need to stay home to beat the virus. 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, such as taking sanitizing wipes or hand sanitizers into stores,” said President Nez.

“Stay home, stay safe, save lives! As leaders, we continue to pray for the individuals and families affected by the virus, and we pray for a speedy recovery,” said Vice President Lizer.

On Tuesday, President Nez and Vice President Lizer continued spreading the word on the ground as they distributed information to the public and urged those on the road to return home safely, and only travel if necessary for food, medicine, or other essential items.

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

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.

In the news

Virus spread at two church rallies on Navajo Nation
Censored News

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.

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Five coronavirus cases at Mohawk Kahnawake
Seven coronavirus cases at Portland IHS (below)
Rocky Boy sets up checkpoints in Montana
Arizona reports 2 cases in Gila River
Tahlequah reports 1 case
Cherokee Merle Dry died in Tahlequah from coronavirus

Cases reported by Indian Health Service nationwide show these positive cases of coronavirus in these IHS agencies: Navajo 29; Portland 7; California 3; Billings 1; Great Plains 1; Phoenix 1.
Of those tested, only about one-half have received results of tests.

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